Woman charged with first-degree murder in Ottawa mother’s cold-blooded slaying

Published: April 9, 2014

Jagtar Gill, 44, was found dead in the living room of her home after her husband and daughter returned from shopping on Jan. 29. Shaamini Yogaretnam/Ottawa Citizen

MEGHAN HURLEY, MICHAEL WOODS AND SHAAMINI YOGARETNAM
OTTAWA CITIZEN

OTTAWA — A 34-year-old woman arrested in the slashing death of Jagtar Gill has been charged with first-degree murder.

Gurpreet Ronald was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning.

Ronald is an OC Transpo employee, as is Gill’s widower, who is a bus driver. Police sources say the two are known to each other.

Jagtar Gill, 43, was found dead in the living room of her Barrhaven home more than two months ago.

Her body was found by her husband and her teenage daughter, Dilpreet, after the pair returned from shopping on Jan. 29. The two had been picking up a cake and flowers to celebrate the Gills’ 17th wedding anniversary. Her daughter was home from school tending to her mother who had been recovering from surgery at the time she was killed, in what investigators have called a cold-blooded slaying.

Police have not said whether they expect to charge anyone else in the killing.

Balraj Dhillon, president of the Ottawa Sikh Society, said the slaying has been the subject of intense speculation in the community, adding he hopes the arrest will help the family achieve some closure.

The woman arrested is East Indian and lives in the area of the Gill family home at 174 Brambling Way, and is not a family member. The killing shocked Ottawa’s Sikh community, who showed up in the hundreds for Gill’s funeral, and other Barrhaven residents.

A couple of Gill’s family members said they were surprised to find out that the person arrested was a woman.

Her brother-in-law Kulwinder Sidhu said that although the family is still sad, “at least they found someone.”

“We can’t get her back, but at least we will know the reality,” he said. “I want to know why this happened.”

Sidhu said he had never heard of his sister-in-law having a problem with anyone.

“She was very quiet. She would just go to work, come back home, take care of the kids … that’s what she did.”

He said numerous family members will be in court Wednesday morning for the woman’s appearance.

Gurpreet Ronald, 34, is facing first-degree murder charges in the slashing death of Jagtar Gill, 43, in Barrhaven in January 2014. Submitted photo/Facebook

“I don’t know what will happen. I will be emotional. I cannot think how someone can kill someone. For what? That’s what I want to know,” he said.

He also said that he has heard several rumours about the incident from people in the community.

“One of the rumours I am hearing, if it’s true, it’s so bad for the family, so bad for the community.”

He declined to elaborate.

Family members have told the Citizen they expect to sell the home, now the site of a horrible loss.

The Gill homicide is Ottawa’s first and only killing of the year.

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