In the Townships Friday evening, Sureté du Québec officers responded to a person in crisis call at a home on Lasnier Street in Dunham.
Officers arrived to find two seriously injured individuals. Patrizia Rao, 59, and Frédéric-Lynn Blair, 62, died of their injuries later that evening.
Little more than 24 hours later, the son of Maria Cristovao, 71, and Joao Marques, 75, called 911 to report discovering his parents bodies in their home in Laval’s Duvernay neighbourhood.
These two suspected murder-suicides are assumed to be Quebec’s first two cases of femicide in 2022. Last year, a record 26 women were murdered in the province, beginning with a shocking series of nine such cases during the late winter months of February and March, 2021.
Monday, the Quebec government announced $3 million in new funding to enhance specialized victim services and perpetrator monitoring at eleven police departments. The announcement was described as an effort “to more effectively combat domestic violence and femicide,” although neither case this weekend appears to involve victims known to police.
Police spokespersons with the SQ and Service de Police de Laval confirm neither incident involved victims with a history of domestic violence calls. While awaiting autopsy results, they cannot yet confirm whether these were indeed femicide cases.
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