Mum stuffed in suitcase as kids slept
A mum who was found dead in a suitcase chillingly told her friend before her death "you will know who did it" if she ever went missing.
Elana Fric-Shamji, 40, was murdered by her husband Mohammed Shamji, 43, four days after she filed for divorce.
THE PERFECT MARRIAGE
On the surface, Elana and Mohammed appeared the perfect couple, with three children aged 11, eight and three.
The family lived together with their children in Toronto, with the couple working as highly respected doctors.
However, a court heard that Mr Shamji physically abused his wife of 12 years and even controlled her social media activity and finances.
Police were once called to the Shamji family home for a domestic disturbance, where Elana told officers her husband had gripped her neck so hard she had lost consciousness.
Elana had confided in friends that her husband's tirade of abuse, carried out behind closed doors, was escalating.
"If I ever go missing, or if something ever happens to me, you will know who did it," she told a close friend shortly before her disappearance.
In November 2016, the physician filed for divorce against her neurosurgeon husband, after she discovered he had been unfaithful.
CHOKED TO DEATH
She instructed her lawyers to serve Mohammed with divorce papers on November 28, 2016.
Two days later, Mohammed reported his wife missing, saying she had taken a suitcase and left the family home.
He'd even sent her a text message, saying: "Good morning. Not sure where u are. I guess I will get kids ready and take them to school. Pls call."
Police found Elana's suitcase, which had been dumped at an underpass 34km from their family home.
But when they opened the suitcase, they found the mother's unrecognisable body shoved inside.
Coroners later found she had been the victim of blunt force trauma and strangulation.
It was determined Elana had been hit with a blunt force object in the couple's garage.
The attacker allegedly broke the mother's neck and ribs, and choked her to death as her three children slept above them.
Elana was beaten so badly, her family barely recognised her when they went to identify her body.
Mohammed immediately became the prime suspect, with neighbours claiming they heard arguing the night before Elana went missing.
Elana's eldest daughter was even woken by the sound of her mother screaming, but her dad had simply ushered her back to bed.
Mohammed was arrested the day after police made the grim discovery, and was charged with first degree murder and committing an indignity to human remains, following his wife's death.
Chillingly, he had even performed surgeries on his patients, following her disappearance, as if nothing had happened.
He denied having anything to do with his wife's death, but just days before this trial was set to commence in April this year, he changed tact, pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
This move allegedly spared his eldest daughter from having to testify against her father during the trial.
The widower made a statement in court, claiming he wished he had taken his own life instead of his wife's.
"Mine was the ultimate betrayal to a woman who gave so much to so many people, especially me," he said.
"There have been no justifications or excuses for what I have done, that has hurt so many people.
"Somehow, I turned my back on my oath and calling, and took a life, Elana's life."
He said he didn't know how he could cause "such pain and anguish."
Mohammed Shamji was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 14 years.
EXTREMELY TRAGIC CASE
Superior Court Justice John McMahon said during his sentencing remarks: "This is an extremely tragic case. Three young children have lost their mother forever."
Outside court, Elana's mother, Anna, said her son-in-law's punishment was not enough.
"I'm so sorry we don't have the death penalty in this country because Mohammed Shamji deserves death for what he did," she said.
"Only Elana's children had given her the purpose to go on. I see my daughter in them every day, and I talk to her at her grave."
She said Mohammed had destroyed their entire family's lives.
"Elana was the child that every parent could hope for," she said.
Joe, Elana's dad, choked back tears as he spoke outside of court, following Mohammed's sentencing.
"I am an old man, almost 74 years of age, so my loss will end before too long, but the loss of the children will go on for decades and decades," he said.
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This story originally appeared in The Sun and was republished here with permission