The sister-in-law and father-in-law of Brampton mother Poonam Litt have been charged in connection with her death, one day after police revealed they had found her remains.
Mandeep Punia, 35, has been charged with second-degree murder and is expected to appear in a Brampton, Ont., court on Saturday, Peel Regional Police said in a Friday release.
Litt's father-in-law, 63-year-old Kulwant Singh Litt, has been charged with accessory to murder after the fact. He appeared in court on Friday.
Peel police revealed Thursday that human remains found in February on a property in Caledon Village, about a half-hour drive northwest of Brampton, were identified as Poonam Litt.
Police allege that Punia killed Litt on Feb. 4, 2009. They did not reveal the alleged cause of death or where she died "pending further investigation." She was 27.
Litt typically walked to her workplace, a dental office a few blocks from her home. But on the morning of Feb. 5, 2009, she never arrived and was reported missing.
Her family later offered a $25,000 reward for information that could lead police to her whereabouts.
Sister trusts justice system
Litt's sister Harvinder Sandhu said police told her of the charges Friday at 1 p.m. ET, according to a statement from her conveyed by Brampton city councillor Vicky Dhillon. She's been crying since, she said, adding that the family doesn’t want to jeopardize the case by speaking to the media.
Sandhu said she trusts the Canadian justice system and believes that the perpetrator will pay for Litt's death.
Litt had been married for four years at the time of her disappearance and was the mother of a young daughter, Kiranjot.
Her husband, Manjinder Litt, travelled to India on Jan. 13, 2009 — the last day he saw her. When he was notified his wife was missing, he immediately flew home from overseas.
At the time of her disappearance, Poonam Litt lived with her husband, their daughter and a number of relatives.