The suspect in a fatal Kitchener stabbing has been in contact with police investigators, but remains on the run.
Ager Mohsin Hasan, 24, of Hamilton faces a second-degree murder charge in the death of 22-year-old Melinda Vasilije.
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“We have had some interaction with Mr. Hasan, who we believe is in the United States of America right now. Most recently, we spoke to him yesterday and with the encouragement to turn himself in to U.S. authorities,” Insp. Michael Haffner told CBC News Thursday.
Haffner said he could not disclose the nature of the communication between Hasan and the investigators, or confirm whether Hasan called police.
“At this point, we’re at a bit of a standstill until he does turn himself in, so we’re asking anyone who may have any contact with Mr. Hasan to really encourage him to turn himself in.”
Suspect spotted in Pennsylvania
Vasilije was found dead in her Country Hill Drive apartment after police were called there around 3 a.m. on April 28.
Police said a post mortem revealed she died from multiple stab wounds.
Police know Hasan crossed into the U.S. on the Peace Bridge from Fort Erie, Ont., to Buffalo, N.Y., around 6 a.m. on April 28 driving a black Honda HR-V.
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A man matching his description was spotted switching licence plates off a vehicle in a Walmart parking lot in Harborcreek Township, near Erie, Pa., around 10 a.m. that same day.
It’s believed the man put the stolen plate on his own vehicle and fled the area.
State police said the licence plate is Pennsylvania registration EZV1654 and had a Fraternal Order of Police medallion emblem attached to it.
The Honda HR-V may have also been displaying Ontario licence plate BPKT509.
Melinda Vasilije, 22, has been remembered by friends as “such a beautiful woman” and for her friendly, uplifting spirit. She was found dead in her Kitchener apartment on April 28. A post mortem found she died from multiple stab wounds. (Instagram)
Hasan, Vasilije had relationship
At a press conference earlier this month, Haffner said Hasan and Vasilije had been in a relationship for about a year.
Hasan is also facing one charge of break and enter and two counts of assault stemming from an altercation at Vasilije’s apartment on April 3. Haffner noted Vasilije was not assaulted during that incident.
Police noted Hasan was released but was not supposed to enter Waterloo region or have contact with Vasilije as part of his release conditions.
Social media campaign
As part of the ongoing investigation, Haffner said investigators are working on a social media campaign, which is expected to be rolled out next week.
It will have elements that can be easily shared by other police forces across Canada and the U.S.
The goal of the campaign will be “to get Mr. Hasan’s picture out there, to make it known that we are actively pursing his whereabouts and actively trying to locate him,” Haffner said.