CALGARY — Police say two people facing charges related to a quadruple homicide last summer knew all the victims.
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say they were targeted, but I will say that the two accused and our deceased parties were known to one another. We’re confident in saying that,” acting Insp. Paul Wozney of the Calgary Police Service said Wednesday.
It’s believed that “loose criminal networks” were involved in the killings, he added.
Yu Chieh Liao, who also goes by Diana Liao, and Tewodros Kebede are charged with first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Hanock Afowerk.
The accused also face three counts of accessory after the fact in the deaths of Cody Pfeiffer, 25; Glynnis Fox, 36; and Tiffany Ear, 39.
Pfeiffer, Fox and Ear were found dead in a burned-out car at a suburban Calgary construction site July 10. Fox and Ear were sisters from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, who relatives have said left behind 16 children between them.
Afowerk, the car’s owner, was found two days later in a rural area west of the city.
Liao, 24, and Kebede, 25, are to appear in court Nov. 2.
Police had earlier said they believed Pfeiffer, Fox and Ear were in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in an attack on Afowerk.
The investigation has spanned multiple provinces and it took time for investigators to use court orders to track down information that changed the direction of their probe, Wozney said.
Liao and Kebede were arrested in Toronto on unrelated matters in the weeks following the killings.
Wozney said help from the Toronto Police Service’s guns and gangs unit was instrumental.
“I really can’t say enough about the helping hand that they extended to us to help us push this investigation forward.”
Calgary investigators also received assistance from the RCMP and police services in Medicine Hat, Alta., and Moose Jaw, Sask.
“The Moose Jaw Police Service … bent over backwards to assist us with this investigation as it took us to Saskatchewan,” Wozney said.
Investigators said shortly after the homicides that the accused were spotted in the Moose Jaw area.
Police asked people there to contact them if they found discarded clothing or documents that may have been burned.
Wozney said police are still asking for the public’s help to find any burned-out areas around Moose Jaw’s airport and military base.
Police said previously that Liao had ties to Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Regina and Moose Jaw.
Wozney said even though charges have been laid, investigators are still looking for more people who may have been involved in what police have described as a brutal and ruthless crime.
“This investigation is not slowing. Resources are not being directed elsewhere,” he said. ”We are continuing to pursue the truth in this particular investigation.”