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"CUE" 2006 Obituary


CUEVAS 

CUEVAS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-07-14 published
No motive apparent in garage double killing
Scarborough deaths and fatal shooting in West End bring city homicide total to 38
By Timothy APPLEBY and Scott ROBERTS, Page A10
Toronto's homicide total for the year has risen to 38 after a middle-aged woman and a 31-year-old father of three were found slain in a blood-soaked garage on a quiet Scarborough street.
The shooting took place late Wednesday. In an unrelated gun incident earlier the same evening on the other side of the city, a man newly released from prison was shot in the head. He died of his injuries yesterday.
Both of the Scarborough victims, believed to be Canadians of Filipino origin, were shot in the head and were discovered by the man's wife when she returned home, police said. The relationship between the two deceased was not clear, police said.
Two assailants believed to be Filipino or southern Asian, wearing light-coloured shirts, were being sought.
Detective Mike BARSKY of the homicide squad discounted widely circulating suggestions that the female victim -- identified by other police sources as Isabelita MALEJANA, 56, of west-end Toronto -- was a transsexual or transvestite. "I don't know where that came from," he said.
A former neighbour said Ms. MALEJANA was married with children. The family used to live on Embro Drive, near Allen Road and Sheppard Avenue.
"It's so sad that this happened," said Emily, who spoke on the condition that her last name not be published. "She was very quiet. She didn't come out of the house very much. The family kept to themselves for the most part."
Emily said the family moved away from the area about a year-and-a-half ago, but she didn't know where they had been planning to relocate.
Speculation that the crime was a murder-suicide is false, Det. BARSKY said. However, no motive was immediately apparent.
The second victim was identified as Virgilio CUEVAS, whose wife discovered the bodies at 58 Canoe Cres., near Steeles Avenue and Markham Road, when she opened her garage door at around 8: 40 p.m. and called 911.
Mr. CUEVAS and Ms. MALEJANA were pronounced dead on arrival at Sunnybrook hospital.
Neighbours described seeing a bloody scene inside the garage after police arrived.
"I came outside and ran across the street and saw the police running with their guns out," said Jupiter ENGRACIA, who lives down the street from the house.
"There was a body in the garage with blood spattered everywhere."
When emergency crews removed the other body, it was wrapped in a blanket, Mr. ENGRACIA said.
Ammunition was reported to have been found in the home, but police said there was no sign of a gun at the crime scene.
The couple's three children, all believed to be under 5, were in the house at the time and were uninjured.
Late in the evening, police removed them from the family home. Neighbours said they often saw Mr. CUEVAS playing outside with his children.
Yesterday, police tape cordoned off the front yard of the home as a police cruiser guarded the area. A lawn mower and three small bicycles sat in the yard.
Neighbours said they were shocked that such a gruesome slaying could happen in this quiet, newly built subdivision.
"This is scary; it's just two houses away," said Darwin RUBIO, "My wife wants to move…. This makes her want to move more so."
Separately on Wednesday night, a man in his 40s and just freed from jail for breach of probation was also taken to Sunnybrook hospital in critical condition.
Shot and wounded in an apartment above a bar on Weston Road near Eglinton Avenue, he succumbed to his wounds yesterday.
The man's identity was not immediately released, pending notification of relatives, but a friend who said she knew him well gave his name as Gerald McDONALD.
Four unidentified youths were spotted fleeing that crime scene. The incident was the latest in a rash of recent fatal shootings in the Weston Road area.
The three deaths push the city's firearms-related tally close to the same number as was recorded this time last year. In total, 52 people died as a result of gunshot wounds in 2005, an all-time high.

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CUEVAS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-07-15 published
Four homicides, one long night
Police chase leads in garage slaying of man, woman
Other victims are man who was shot, Brampton mother
By Thulasi SRIKANTHAN, Meghan HURLEY and Betsy POWELL, Staff Reporters with files from Jim WILKES
Virgilo CUEVAS often used the garage of his home for refuge, and to smoke -- and that's where he and a female "acquaintance" were shot dead, leaving Toronto police searching for a motive and the killers.
"We're still working on a couple of theories, but there's nothing concrete that I can say yet," homicide Det. Wayne FOWLER said yesterday.
CUEVAS, 31, and a 56-year-old woman were found lying on the concrete floor of the attached garage of a house near Steeles Ave. E. and Markham Rd. on Wednesday night. Police were waiting to notify next of kin yesterday before releasing the woman's identity.
Meanwhile, police on the other side of Toronto were investigating the Wednesday evening slaying of a man in his 40s, and Peel Region police were probing the death of a 31-year-old mother of two whose body was found early yesterday.
A man identified by Friends as Gerald McDONALD may have been killed over the cash he was carrying when he was shot in an apartment building on Weston Rd. near Eglinton Ave. W., a friend speculated.
"He had $1,700 in his pocket. Maybe someone knew that he cashed his cheque and that he had this money," said Nancy IANNRELLA, owner of Nancy's Bar and Grill, next to the apartment.
McDONALD had been released from jail just two hours before he was killed, she said, and had dropped into the bar before going to cash the cheque.
Police were called to the building at about 7: 23 p.m. Wednesday after someone reported hearing gunshots.
The victim died in hospital yesterday.
About 90 minutes later, in Scarborough, CUEVAS' wife, Maria, found her husband and his friend after she drove up to the house around 8: 45 p.m. Wednesday.
The garage door was partly open, and when she drove in she could see one of the bodies, FOWLER said.
She then went inside, where the couples' three young children were with their grandparents.
FOWLER said no one in the house is a suspect.
CUEVAS was home all day and had gone on his own into the garage, where he was joined by the woman.
"The purpose of her visit, I don't know," FOWLER said. She doesn't live nearby and was driven to the address. The wife knows "her husband's friend" by sight.
There was no romantic relationship, he added.
witnesses: described two men, of Asian or Filipino descent -- as were the victims -- wearing light-coloured jackets or jerseys running away from the scene.
No firearms were located.
The wife's father, who asked not to be identified, said he saw his distraught daughter early yesterday morning.
The only thing she would say was that her husband was gone. "That's all," her father said. "She was crying really hard."
The children do not really know what is going on, he said. Two of them are staying with him. "They are sad, they cannot sleep."
Neighbours say they often saw the children running around the red-brick home, cycling and spending time with their father in the backyard, where they often barbecued.
Yesterday, a shiny blue bicycle with training wheels sat on the freshly cut lawn.
"Nothing like this ever happened on this street before," said Darrell RUBIO, who has lived there for three years. He said the family held a lot of parties, and there were always people coming in and out.
Rayne DOOKIE was in her home relaxing when she thought she heard a loud noise.
"I heard a shot. I thought it was a car backfiring." She said she quickly dismissed it because she couldn't imagine anything like a murder happening in their quiet neighbourhood.
Councillor Raymond CHO was going door-to-door in his ward to reassure citizens.
"I was totally frustrated, shocked and angry, because this is a good community," he said.
Meanwhile, Peel Region saw its fourth homicide this year with the death of Malena MORALES, whose body was found in a 12th-floor Brampton apartment early yesterday.
Police found MORALES's body showing "obvious signs of trauma" when they responded to a call at about 2 a.m., said Const. Jennifer BRYER.
Homicide detectives sealed off the building, on Steeles Ave. W. near Hurontario Street, and officers canvassed other residents throughout the day.
Residents said the woman lived with a man and two children, but it was not known whether she was married.
Two boys, a 10-year-old and his younger brother, were being cared for by relatives as police searched for a male suspect.
"This used to be a good building," said a woman who has lived there 16 years.
"But it's been going downhill for the last year or so. There have been a lot of drugs and dealers and the police have been here many times."
An autopsy is planned today at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto.
The gunning-down of the man Friends called McDONALD, whom police have not officially identified, makes him the fifth homicide victim killed somewhere along Weston Rd. in just a few months.
On July 2, a 25-year-old man was gunned down outside a bar on Weston south of Rogers Rd.
Three men tried to steal the money being collected at the club's front door, police said. A second victim caught in the crossfire was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
On June 13, police found Clive McNABB, 39, stabbed to death in his Weston Rd. and Eglinton Ave. W. apartment, just steps from the scene of Wednesday's shooting.
A week before McNABB's death, 22-year-old Gabriel JARAMILLO was shot dead in the area around Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. E. Peyton BADIRU, 26, has been charged with second-degree murder in that case.
And at the end of March, Romaine LAWRENCE, 18, was killed when bullets tore through the window of a pizza parlour at Weston Rd. and Eglinton Ave. W.
"We've been directing our resources along that stretch of Weston Rd.," Staff Sgt. Gary MULHOLLAND, of 12 Division, said in response to a question about the cluster of homicides.
"Over the past few years we've had initiatives to lower violence and we will continue to do so."
MULHOLLAND said that while it is "unsettling for the neighbourhood," the violence mostly seems related to activities of criminals in the area. "It's not just the average citizen walking down the street."
That's little comfort to McDONALD's bar-owner friend, since he was shot steps away from where she works.
Someone came running into the bar screaming to call the police after the shooting, IANNRELLA said.
She was working when it happened and saw the victim in the hallway when she went upstairs.
"I can't sleep because I'm in such shock because it happened in my neighbourhood," IANNRELLA said.
"I know when I go home in the night I get scared."

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