Friday, May 7, 2010
A father`s worst nightmare: Finds his daughter`s body
WINNIPEG - Climbing the steps to his daughter's Wolseley condo, Ed Gastador wondered why the petite 23-year-old had missed work and wasn't answering the telephone.
Using a duplicate key to let himself into her suite Tuesday afternoon, he found Catherine's lifeless, bloodied body on her bed, with wounds on her back and a knife lying beside her.
Winnipeg police are investigating Catherine Gastador's death as the city's sixth homicide of 2010.
"We're in shock," said Ed Gastador, joined by his wife, Charito, on Wednesday inside their Tyndall Avenue home. "My daughter's gone.
"She was so young, she wanted to pursue more. My daughter was a very ambitious lady."
Homicide investigators were interviewing witnesses Wednesday and no arrests had been made by press time, a police spokesman said.
Neighbours at the condo block at 828 Preston Ave. said they'd seen Catherine walking her fluffy white dog there recently. She'd lived at the brick heritage building known as the Rothesay for about three years, and one resident said they regularly saw her with another man who who lived in the block.
Ed Gastador said his daughter was studying to advance her career and she was "ambitious" in her pursuits, especially about a career in law.
"She was so happy, especially when she was with her friends," he said.
However, her life wasn't without turmoil. Court records show Catherine had filed a protection order in February 2007 against a Winnipeg man believed to be in his 30s. The order was to have expired in February 2010, however, Catherine applied in the summer of 2007 to have the protection order varied or set aside.
The order stated the man could not follow, contact or communicate with her, and had to stay more than 100 metres from where she lived.
Ed Gastador said the protection order was filed because his daughter told him she was "scared" of a man who is related to her through her mother.
Police said Wednesday the cause of death had not been confirmed and autopsy results are pending.
After losing a job at another law firm last fall, Catherine began working at Fillmore Riley this spring as a legal assistant.
Ed Gastador said he expressed concerns about her being alone in her condo and the demands of school and work.
"I was complaining about (her being) too busy," he said. "And she answered me, 'Dad, I am still young.'"
Charlotte Jorek, a resident of the Rothesay, said Catherine was ecstatic because of her new job.
"She was so happy," she said. "It's really, really sad. I just thought she was a very nice girl."
A staff member at Fillmore Riley had called the Gastadors to say their daughter hadn't arrived for work. Ed said after calling his daughter repeatedly, he became worried she might have fallen ill and went to check on her.
"I didn't expect anything wrong," he said.
After opening the door and calling out for his daughter, he found her lying face down. Panicking, he tried to revive her, rolling her over. There was blood beside her mouth.
"I didn't know she was already dead," said Ed Gastador, adding the couple is devastated they will never see their child again.
WINNIPEG - The father of a slain Winnipeg woman said his daughter wanted to live alone and further her academic studies while she worked.
Police found the body of 23-year-old Catherine Gastador in a suite at 828 Preston Avenue just after 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Her father, Ed Gastador, said Wednesday she died from a stab wound to the back.
Gastador said he last saw his daughter at a family party in March. He described her as a "very ambitious lady."
Catherine Gastador reportedly lived on the fourth floor of the condominium building, which is known as the Rothesay. Her father said she lived alone.
Neighbours said Gastador had lived in the building for about three years and was often seen walking a small, white dog. She was also frequently seen with a male friend in the building, a neighbour said.
Gastador's profile on the social-networking site Facebook indicates a local law firm was her employer, although a post from a friend in mid-March congratulated her on her new job. A company spokesperson for Fillmore Riley, a local law firm, said Gastador worked there.
A lone police cruiser was parked outside the property Wednesday morning. Police said they are interviewing a number of witnesses in connection with the case.
No arrests have been announced by police. The homicide unit is investigating.