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Ontario father accused of killing daughter dies in hospital

Roopesh Rajkumar was arrested in Orillia on Feb. 15, 2019, in connection with the death of his daughter Riya Rajkumar. HANDOUT/Facebook

There is still a large memorial of flowers, balloons and teddy bears for Riya Rajkumar outside the semi-detached home in Brampton, where the 11-year-old was found dead on Valentine’s Day.

There will be no such memorial for her father, who died in the hospital on Wednesday from the self-inflicted gunshot wound suffered at the time of his arrest.

An Amber Alert was issued after Riya’s mother had gone to police after Roopesh Rajkumar allegedly failed to return the girl on time after taking her out for her birthday. She told police that she had received concerning comments from Roopesh about harming himself and his daughter.

Rajkumar was arrested by Provincial Police in a high-risk takedown some 130 kilometres away in Oro-Medonte shortly after Riya’s body was found. Peel Regional Police say his injury wasn’t discovered until he was transferred into their custody. It wasn’t until he was brought to hospital that the gunshot wound was discovered.

The province’s Special Investigations Unit was contacted but declined to invoke their mandate.

Roopesh Rajkumar had been charged with his daughter’s first-degree murder.

The news of Rajkumar’s death comes on the same day his daughter was laid to rest.

About 100 mourners gathered Wednesday to listen to speeches, poems and songs as the community remembered the young girl.

“My daughter Riya was taken from me too early,” Priya Ramdin, who did not attend the vigil, said in a statement read by Peel police Deputy Chief Chris McCord.

“She never liked to be negative and always saw the good in every situation. If I’m ever upset, she would say ‘Mama, don’t be sad, look at the positives.”’

Ramdin described her daughter as her best friend and a social butterfly who loved to spend time with her family and friends.

“She was a little princess who loved dressing up, having her hair curled and done up,” Ramdin said.

“She touched a lot of lives with her laughter and contagious big smile. It breaks my heart to know I will no longer be seeing that smile, hearing her voice and never having her in my arms again.”