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Murder suspect may have been injured during attack, police say
By Josh Rubin
Staff Reporter thestar.com
? Toronto Police
? Toronto Crime Stoppers
Police have begun the search for a murderer following the stabbing death of a young Chinese exchange student last night only a few blocks from her apartment near York University.
Nineteen-year-old Lin Tao was only two days shy of her 20th birthday.
At a press conference this afternoon, police detective Gary Giroux identified Tao as the victim of Toronto's fourth murder of 2002, and said there is no apparent motive for last night's attack.
Giroux called the attack vicious, and vowed Tao's killer would be caught.
''This is a savage attack. It was an attack on a young, defenceless woman, and it was the act of a coward,'' said Giroux.
Police believe the killer fled on foot and may live close to where Tao was stabbed. They also believe the assailant was injured during the attack on Tao and bears fresh wounds.
Tao's parents still haven't been notified of their daughter's death, Giroux added. She would have celebrated a birthday on Wednesday.
Tao studied at York University's English Language Institute last year, but wasn't currently enrolled in any classes, officials at the university said.
Emergency crews were called to the scene on Four Winds Drive near Keele and Finch Aves. around 8 p.m. last night after it was reported that a woman was stabbed in the neck. The victim, who was bleeding heavily, was taken to Humber River Regional hospital as paramedics worked to keep her alive.
Once her condition was stabilized she was transported to Sunnybrook hospital, where she died.
Toronto police cordoned off a banking centre, apartment building courtyard, a nearby Tim Horton's and a parking lot following the attack.
Police at nearby 31 Division were questioning a distraught man who may have witnessed the attack. A police-tracking dog was brought to the scene to follow the trail of a suspect, a man described as wearing a puffy ski-type jacket.
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