Monday, July 13, 2015

Dad in divorce proceedings murders 10-month-old son (Anjou, Canada)

Yet another control freak dad who should have been denied access after separating from the mother.

Dad is identified as RAFAL ZEMBOWISZ.

Father, baby dead in apparent murder-suicide in Anjou

Paul Cherry, Montreal Gazette More from Paul Cherry, Montreal Gazette

Published on: July 6, 2015 | Last Updated: July 6, 2015 8:32 PM EDT ​

Jacques Martin sensed something was wrong with his longtime friend Rafal Zembowicz when he recently received a text message from him that seemed completely out of character.

Martin had called Zembowicz to inquire about a fence around a duplex Zembowicz still owned with his wife, somewhere in Montreal, despite having moved away from it to a single-family dwelling in Anjou last year. Because Zembowicz didn’t answer the phone, Martin left his former neighbour and co-worker a message. He hoped Zembowicz would return the call so they could also catch up, but instead Zembowicz sent Martin a short text message asking “Why don’t you ask the co-owner?” It was a very cold way for Zembowicz to refer to his wife.

“I knew then something was wrong. He had never done that before,” Martin said on Monday while standing outside the home in Anjou where, according to police, Zembowicz killed his 10-month-old son Adam before taking his own life on Sunday.

A 10-month-old baby was killed Sunday, July 5, 2015 by his father, who then took his own life. Neighbour Nicole Rouillard, in Montreal, on Monday, July 6, 2015, was surprised when she was told that the couple was splitting up. ​

The text message, sent a couple of weeks ago, caused Martin to ask mutual friends what might be going on and he learned Zembowicz and his wife had separated. (According to court records, the couple officially filed for divorce on June 30.) On Friday, Martin asked a mutual friend how Zembowicz was doing.

“I said tell me seriously, are things going so bad that they are separated?”, Martin recounted, adding the mutual friend said Zembowicz wasn’t talking to anybody.

“I said I should call him but (the mutual friend) said it was useless, he wasn’t answering his phone.”

The fact that he had become unapproachable left Martin puzzled. He described Zembowicz as a very nice person who was very easy to talk to.

“This is difficult to understand, above all because there is a child involved. I find this is terrible. If things aren’t going well I can understand (if someone takes their own life). But leave your child, leave your family out of it. I don’t understand it. Sometimes we can’t get into the head of a person.”

Zembowicz, a supervisor of maintenance staff at a downtown condominium complex, and his wife moved out of the duplex and into the home in Anjou last summer with their three children.

Soon after the family moved in, Zembowicz went out of his way to apologize, in advance, to his next-door neighbour Nicole Rouillard about any noise he would make while renovating the house on Des Vendéens Ave. Rouillard said Zembowicz wanted to have the house ready by last September because he and his wife were expecting.

Rouillard said Zembowicz told her last summer that he was happy to have finally moved his family into a single-family dwelling with their own lawn and backyard.

“When he (renovated) the house it was to stay, he said it was permanent. He said sometimes he bought houses, repaired them and sold them afterwards. But this one he said ‘no, this one is for keeps’,” Rouillard said.

After Adam arrived, neighbours noticed that Zembowicz’s wife would take their son out for strolls in a carriage during the day and Zembowicz would do the same during evenings.

Rouillard said there were no outward signs that something was wrong until a “for sale” sign suddenly appeared in front of her neighbours’ home just weeks ago. She said Zembowicz’s wife approached her to explain the sign and informed her of the divorce.

“She said they’d been living together for 20 years. Things were rough and she had enough and she wanted out of this marriage. Before that it looked like they were in love and everything looked fine,” Rouillard said. “He used to pass by the front of our house but since he put up the (for sale) sign he avoided us. He didn’t come over to talk to us like he used to.” ​

Another sign of trouble, Rouillard said, came in the form of a police car parked outside the home on Thursday. The next sign was on Sunday, when another police car showed up.

Montreal police spokesperson Constable Anie Lemieux said the infant’s death is considered the 14th homicide reported on the territory covered by the police force so far this year. She said it appears Zembowicz took his own life after having killed his son. Investigators paid particular attention to a half finished shed in back of the home where a baby carriage could be seen next to the back entrance.

Lemieux also said the baby boy’s mother had to be taken to a hospital to be treated for shock.

Quebec has been witness to several similar tragedies in recent years. Last week, Boucherville resident Michel Dubuc is believed to have killed his two adult sons before killing himself inside his home. He is also believed to have fatally shot a lawyer he was suing for $1.2 million and a notary who was in the law firm in Terrebonne at the time. Neighbours said Dubuc had been sharing custody of his sons with his wife following their divorce in 2002.

Last year, Thierry Patenaude-Turcotte, a 42-year-old man who was involved in a custody battle over his 21-month old son, appeared to place his sport utility vehicle in front of a moving train in St-Liboire. The collision killed the father and his son.