Pinay slay suspect charged with first-degree murder

Community News & Features Jun 8, 2018 at 4:37 pm
Rhoderie Estrada. Source_ Facebook

RHODERIE ESTRADA (Photo grabbed from Facebook)

Rhoderie Estrada died May 26 at her East York home

By Irish Mae Silvestre
The Philippine Reporter

TORONTO–A week after the death of Rhoderie Estrada, 41, left the Filipino-Canadian community reeling in shock, Toronto Police announced that a suspect has been arrested. During a Toronto news conference on Sunday, June 3, Homicide Detective Sergeant Mike Carbone, stated that Yostin Murillo, 22, who has no fixed address, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder.

According to the police, on Saturday, May 26, at approximately 2:20 a.m., police officers responded to a 911 call from an East York home near Torrens Avenue and Pape Ave. When officers arrived, they were met by a man who led them to a bedroom where they found a woman with obvious signs of trauma. Despite life-saving efforts by emergency personnel, Estrada was pronounced dead at the scene.

SUSPECT Yostin Murillo, 22. (Photo: Toronto Police)

SUSPECT Yostin Murillo, 22.
(Photo: Toronto Police)

“An autopsy was performed on Sunday, May 27,” said Carbone. “And at this time, we will not be releasing the cause of death.”

The suspect is believed to have entered the home through a side window between Friday May 25 at 10.30 p.m. and Saturday May 26 at 2.15 a.m. Police say that the suspect and victim did not know each other. The arrest came after interviewing witnesses, reviewing surveillance videos and “a systematic and meticulous examination of the dwelling” by the Forensic Identification Unit.

Estrada is the 33rd homicide victim in Toronto in 2018, according to a police news release.

Carbone declined to comment on whether or not the attack was targeted but urges anyone with information on Murillo before or after the homicide to come forward. He also confirmed that the suspect was known to the police prior to his arrest.

A MEMORIAL outside the home of Rhoderie Estrada  (Photo: Irish Mae Silvestre)

A MEMORIAL outside the home of Rhoderie Estrada
(Photo: Irish Mae Silvestre)

Murillo appeared at the Ontario Court of Justice at 1000 Finch Ave. West, North York on Monday, June 4. His next appearance is on June 18 at the College Park Courts where he will be prosecuted.

“Right now, I’m satisfied that because this person has been arrested, that the public should not be concerned for their safety,” said Carbone. “Taking this person off the street goes a long way towards that.”

Remembering ‘Dherie’

Rhoderie Estrada – or Dherie, as she was known to family and friends – was a mother to three young girls and was originally from the Philippine province of Pangasinan. Her husband, Gerald Aquintey, is a restaurateur who co-owns Tinuno, a popular Filipino kamayan restaurant in Upper Jarvis.

The family’s home is located in a quiet neighborhood along a leafy stretch of Torrens Avenue. On an early Thursday (May 31) evening, the grey and white house appeared empty and a police cruiser guarded the home. Bright yellow police tape stretched across its small front lawn where there was a makeshift memorial with prayers, candles and flowers.

EXTERIOR of Rhoderie Estrada’s house  (Photo: Irish Mae Silvestre)

EXTERIOR of Rhoderie Estrada’s house
(Photo: Irish Mae Silvestre)

Estrada was a nurse at St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto where she has worked since 2001. “It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge the passing of one of our staff members, Rhoderie Estrada,” read a statement emailed to The Philippine Reporter from the hospital. “[She] was a well-respected clinician and leader to her colleagues, as well as a friend. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her at St. Joe’s.”

Long-time friend Randy Bucao, in an online interview with The Philippine Reporter, describes Estrada as “a quiet person” who was “fun with friends.”
“I knew Dherie before Gerald came into her life,” said Bucao. “During that time, 20 years ago, Gerald was also our friend. It is just so hard to believe that a good friend of [ours] was murdered. Just like most of us and their [other] friends, we can hardly believe that she’s gone.”

Another friend, Carol Alvaran, said in an online interview that she’s saddened by the “tragic and senseless loss.”

“Dherie was such a good friend – she and I were like family,” recalled Alvaran. “She treated me like her younger sister when I left home and went to live with her for quite some time. We did things together. She always made sure there was food for me and she always wanted to make sure I was okay.”

GERALD Aquintey and Rhoderie Estrada (Photo grabbed from Facebook)

GERALD Aquintey and Rhoderie Estrada
(Photo grabbed from Facebook)

She added that Estrada was a positive person who encouraged her to pursue nursing. Alvaran said that they continued to stay in touch years after she moved to the U.S. where she works as a nurse. She flew to Toronto to “pay my due respect for one last time.”

“I saw a few mutual friends at the funeral and we talked about what she was like when she was alive,” said Alvaran. “The more we talk about our good memories of her, it eases the pain of the loss for a little bit.”

Estrada was laid to rest on Saturday, June 2 at St. James’ Cemetery on Parliament St. in Toronto.

(Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (416) 808-7400 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at (416) 222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.222tips.com.)

Rhoderie  and friend Carol Alvaren

Rhoderie and friend Carol Alvaren

(2 Photos provided by Carol Alvaren)

(2 Photos provided by Carol Alvaren)