Canada

HUNTER: Toronto woman among two murdered at Airbnb and ‘friends’ did nothing

Someone never got to their fast-food order.

They either left hungry or died hungry.

At the scene of a horrific double murder at a Fort Erie-area Airbnb party pad early Monday, cops found the untouched food in a grey plastic bag with “923” written on the side. Inside, was a cheeseburger, French fries, chicken wings, and celery and carrots with blue cheese.

Ketchup was included. And so, apparently, was murder.

Cops say that around 4:15 a.m. on Tuesday, they received a 911 call regarding a possible firearm incident at 4197 Niagara Parkway.

When officers arrived, they found the bodies of two young women. Their so-called friends and acquaintances had left them there alone to die. So far, it doesn’t look like anyone bothered to call for help.

The abandoned bag of fast food. Photo by HANDOUT /NIAGARA REGIONAL POLICE

It had been a large bash with a lot of out-of-towners, including the two victims.

Late Thursday, Niagara Regional Police finally identified them as Christina Cross, 18, of Toronto, and Juliana Pannunzio, 20, of Windsor, whose Facebook page said she is a student at St. Clair College. Both had been shot.

Pannunzio’s best friend, Kelly Gallacher, described her on a GoFundMe page as “a sweet angel and a kind soul.”

“She loved everyone and she always wanted everyone to be happy. She never failed to make me laugh and she will forever live on,” Gallacher wrote, adding that her family is devastated.

Residents told local media that the waterfront chalet had long been a problem with rowdy out-of-towners boozing and blasting music until the wee hours. So, perhaps it was sadly inevitable that tragedy was hovering in the wings.

Niagara homicide detectives have been tight-lipped but it doesn’t take much to read between the lines — and start asking questions.

Who holds a balls-to-the-wall bash on a Monday night in January?

Who put their John Hancock on the rental agreement? Who owns the joint?

What were the two young women doing there?

Why did no one call for help?

And lastly, what kind of maniac pulled the trigger? What sparked their outrage?

Where the two women targeted or were they collateral damage?

Questions that will hopefully be answered in the coming days unless, of course, there’s a case of mass amnesia, which would not be unheard of.

The Fort Erie party palace where two women were murdered. BOOKINGS.COM

Leaving those two young women to die alone should probably give you your answer.

And what of Airbnb? Murders at the short-term rental are hardly unheard of. Last year there were homicides at the properties in Ottawa, Edmonton, Toronto and elsewhere.

Airbnb told local media in Niagara that the murder mansion has now been delisted and they are investigating. But 4197 Niagara Pkwy. lives on via Booking.com, which says it is “unavailable.”

Already, bylaw officers have dinged the owners for lockdown and pandemic breaches. That didn’t seem to matter not one whit. Party on.

Two families will now have their grieving poisoned by an insidious pandemic but it won’t be the most bitter pill they have to swallow.

It will be the knowledge that when their girls were dying, people did nothing at all.

Detectives are asking the public to contact them if they have any information about the deceased or the incident in Fort Erie at 905-688-4111 dial 3, ext. 1009134.

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun

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