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Man held in slaying of Toronto webcam chatter

A 29-year-old man has been charged in the killing of a college student whose frantic boyfriend in China watched though a webcam as she struggled with an attacker in her Toronto apartment, police said Wednesday.

Brian Dickson was charged with first-degree murder, Toronto police spokesman Tony Vella told the Associated Press. Dickson was scheduled to appear in court this morning.

Police did not release any more details but asked the media not to publish any photos of Dickson, saying it could compromise the investigation.

The body of York University student Liu Qian, 23, of Beijing, was found Friday in her apartment a few hours after her boyfriend witnessed the attack, police said. She was naked from the waist down. There were no obvious signs of sexual assault or trauma severe enough to kill her.

The autopsy was inconclusive, and police said they were awaiting toxicology test results.

Dickson is not a student at York, university spokeswoman Janice Wells said.

Liu was chatting with her boyfriend, Meng Xianchao, by webcam at about 1 a.m. Friday when a man knocked on the door, police said.

Meng reported seeing a struggle break out between the two before Liu's webcam was shut off. Meng contacted other friends in Toronto who in turn called police.

The victim's father, Liu Jianhui, said his daughter studied at Beijing City University before moving to Canada, where she met Meng.

Liu Jianhui arrived Wednesday from China.

York University President Mamdouh Shoukri said the community is relieved that police have arrested a suspect.

"Qian Liu's death has had a profound impact on all of us at York. We appreciate the dedicated effort of Toronto Police Service, and we are pleased that they have apprehended a suspect," Shoukri said.

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