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Chinese student's last moments witnessed on webcam


TORONTO (AP) _ Canadian police said Tuesday they still don't know what caused the death of a student from Beijing who was last seen alive on a webcam by a friend who witnessed her struggling with a man before the camera was abruptly shut off.

Police said the body of 23-year-old York University student Qian Liu was found Friday in her apartment in Toronto a few hours after her friend in China witnessed the attack. She was naked from the waist down and there were no obvious signs of sexual assault or trauma that would have led to her death, police said.

An autopsy failed to show the cause of death and it could be weeks before the results of toxicology tests are known, Police Sgt.

Frank Skubic said. He said the death has yet to be classified officially as a homicide, though police were investigating it as such.

Liu was chatting with her male friend by webcam at about 1 a.m. Friday when an unknown man knocked on the door, police said.

The friend reported seeing a struggle break out between the two before Liu's webcam was shut off. The friend contacted other friends in Toronto who in turn called police.

``We have spoken to this online witness by telephone,'' Skubic said.

Liu's laptop computer, webcam and mobile phone are missing, Skubic said. He said the online chat was a live streaming camera and was not recorded, though investigators were trying to figure out if there was any way they could recover it.

The witness told police the man who assaulted Liu appeared to be in his 20s with a muscular build.

Skubic said it was not clear if Liu knew her attacker. He said a former roommate was interviewed as a person of interest, but he declined to call the man a suspect.

Skubic said Liu's family was expected to arrive in Toronto at the end of the week. Skubic said she lived alone and had been at York since last September.

``Our entire community mourns the loss of a promising young student,'' York University President Mamdouh Shoukri said in a statement.

York student James Gibson, 24, lives next door to Liu's apartment but said he had never met her. The neighborhood, just south of the campus, is known for crime, he said.

``I've heard there's been a lot of criminal activity going on around here, a lot of robberies ... but I never thought there would be a death,'' Gibson said.

Shanta Poonai, who lives a few doors down, said the neighborhood is mostly students who often hold parties.

<한글 요약>

중국 여학생 살해직전 마지막 장면 웹캠으로 목격돼

캐나다에서 유학중인 한 중국학생의 죽기 전 마지막 순간이 친구와 영상통화 중이던 웹캠을 통해 목격된 사건이 발생했다.

23세 요크대 학생 치안 리우는 금요일 밤에 한 친구와 영상통화를 하던 중 신원미상의 남성에게 공격당하고 몇 시간후 시신으로 경찰에 의해 발견되었다. 함께 영상통화를 하고 있던 친구는 이 장면을 웹캠으로 목격하고 다른 친구에게 연락하여 경찰에 신고했다.

사건의 시작은 새벽1시 리우가 친구와 웹캠을 통해 영상통화를 하고 있을 때 신원미상의 남성이 문을 두드린 것으로 시작되었다고 경찰은 말했다.

그 친구는 리우의 웹캠이 꺼지기 전에 신원미상의 남자와 리우가 몸싸움을 하고 있는 것을 목격했다. 그는 곧바로 토론토에 있는 다른 친구에게 연락하여 경찰에 연락하게 했다.

한편, 리우의 노트북과 웹캠과 휴대폰은 없어진 상태이며 신원미상의 남자가 들이닥칠 당시 보였던 영상은 실시간 영상이어서 녹화되지 않았다고 한다.

경찰은 리우는 하반신 나체로 발견되었으며 성폭력의 흔적이나 죽음으로 연결되는 외상은 발견되지 않았다고 말했다.

토론토 경찰은 이번 사건은 아직 살인으로 분류되지는 않았으나 살인으로 생각하고 조사하는 중이라고 밝혔다.


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