Man charged in stabbing death of mosque caretaker

Mohammed -Aslim Zafis

Police have arrested a 34-year old man  in the stabbing death of 58-year-old Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, a  Guyanese-born volunteer caretaker at the Inernational Muslim Organization (IMO) mosque in Toronto.

Guilherme Von Neutegem has been charged with first-degree murder.

“There does not appear to be any motive and there does not appear to be any known relationship between the accused and the victim” at this time, but the investigation will be ongoing, said Toronto Police Inspector Hank Idsinga at a  news conference last week.

Zafis was stabbed two Saturdays ago while he was sitting outside the front doors of the mosque at Rexdale Blvd, near Islington Avenue, police said.

He was  reported to have been controlling access into the building in order to comply with public health orders.

Idsinga told reporters that Von Neutegem was arrested Friday morning after he was identified by investigators.

Zafis was remembered at his funeral last week as a “kind, gentle soul” who, on the day he was killed, handed out food to the hungry and worked to keep his fellow worshippers safe.

The IMO is calling on the Toronto Police  to investigate the murder as potentially hate-motivated  crime, the organization said in a statement on Friday.