The daughter of a prominent Canadian businesswoman and her boyfriend have been arrested in Budapest, Hungary, following a three-month international manhunt in connection with a shooting that killed a man and injured his pregnant fiancée.
Police in Hamilton, Ontario, announced on Monday that Oliver Karafa, 28, and Yun ‘Lucy’ Lu Li, 25, were apprehended in Budapest by Hungarian police on Saturday.
The pair were wanted on charges of murder and attempted murder for the February 2020 shooting death of Tyler Pratt, 39, in Hamilton.
Pratt’s 26-year-old girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time, was also hit by gunfire and was said to have lost her unborn baby.
Police have not revealed a motive behind the attack but said the suspects and victims knew each other.
Influencer Yun ‘Lucy’ Lu Li, 25 (left), and her boyfriend, Oliver Karafa, 28 (right) have been arrested in Budapest by the Hungarian police in connection with a fatal shooting in Canada
The pair are accused of killing TRyler Pratt, 39, a father-of-three, and injuring his pregnant fiancée, causing her to lose her unborn baby
Li and her two sisters, one of who is a beauty queen, were said to be Instagram influencers.
Karafa, a Slovakian native living in Toronto, has a past criminal record and served five years in prison for causing a fatal DUI crash nearly a decade ago.
On February 28, just after 7.15pm, the Hamilton Police Service responded to a shooting that occurred in an industrial park on Arvin Avenue in Stoney Creek.
Pratt, a father-of-three, was pronounced dead at the scene. His girlfriend was hospitalized with serious injuries.
Investigators soon identified Karafa and Li as the people responsible for the shooting, although they would not say what led them to that conclusion.
Police learned that the couple fled to Eastern Europe within 24 hours of the incident, traveling through several countries, including Karafa’s native Slovakia and the Czech Republic, before arriving in Budapest, Hamilton Police Det.-Sgt. Jim Callender told CBC.ca.
Hamilton Police Service recognized the efforts of the Hungarian Fugitive Active Search Team in making the arrests.
Karafa and Li are now awaiting extradition back to Canada to face charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Li’s mother, Hong Wei ‘Winnie’ Liao, is president of the Toronto-based asset management firm Respon International Group with extensive political connections.
She has been photographed shaking hands with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and posing with Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
Li is one of a set of triplets. She and her sisters have built a following for themselves on social media by posing in matching dresses and skimpy swimsuits.
‘We are deeply shocked, disturbed and puzzled by Lucy’s involvement in the unfortunate incident,’ the family said in a statement to a Chinese news outlet, which was translated by The National Post.
Li is one of a set of triplets, whose mother is a politically connected head of a Toronto-based asset management firm
In 2014, Karafa was found guilty of impaired driving causing death; driving while over legal limit of alcohol; criminal negligence cause death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle cause death, and was sentenced to five years in prison.
The conviction stemmed from an April 2012 crash, in which Karafa got behind the wheel drunk and was driving at twice the speed limit when he crashed his car, causing his passenger, 19-year-old David Chiang, to be ejected from the vehicle and smash head first into a pole. The victim died at the scene.
Tyler Pratt’s mother, Jonni Yeomans, told The Daily Beast that her son was a ‘phenomenal father’ to his three children.
She also revealed that the shooting robbed her not only of her son, but also of another grandchild when Pratt’s fiancée lost her unborn child after being wounded.
‘We’ve gone through a devastating time,’ said Yeomans.
The mother took some comfort in the knowledge that the suspects in her son’s murder have been arrested on his sister’s birthday, calling it a ‘beautiful gift’ and ‘an answer to a prayer.’