Killed Toronto manicurist Tien Ly remembered as generous and ambitious

The Toronto woman whose body was found by police in Leslieville Monday is being remembered as a generous and ambitious person — a manicurist who looked out for others and was working to make a better life for her son.

“She was a really nice person, nice with everyone around her, especially her son,” said friend Henry Thinh.

Tien Ly, 46, was identified Wednesday as the city’s latest homicide victim — a killing that’s left friends in mourning and has Toronto police seeking her adult son, though he is not being designated as either a suspect or missing person.

On Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson for Toronto police said homicide investigators are still working to track down Dallas Ly, 20, who lived with his mother at the Carlaw Avenue condo Tien Ly has owned since 2018.

The condo is about one kilometer from where Ly’s body was found Monday afternoon; investigators located her remains of her inside a plastic garbage bag near Eastern Avenue, just east of Berkshire Avenue. There were obvious signs of trauma including dismemberment, police said.

Homicide investigators have been seeking to speak with Dallas Ly since identifying his mother’s body and are “concerned” about him, particularly after seeing the state of their home, Const. Alex Li told reporters late Wednesday night, though he did not provide further details about what officers found inside.

“Dallas, if you’re listening, please contact the police immediately. We want to speak with you, we’re concerned for your well-being,” Li said Wednesday, speaking directly into TV cameras.

Friend Henry Thinh met Tien Ly when he was a new immigrant to Toronto and rented a room from her. Soon, I found more than a roof over her head from her, but friendship and support.

“She (taught) me so many things in life, first time I was here in Toronto,” Thinh, 28, told the Star Thursday.

Now living in Vancouver, Thinh was planning to pay a visit to the nail salon Ly worked at the next time he came to Toronto. Instead, he saw news Wednesday that she had been found dead.

“I was shocked, I can’t believe it,” he said. “I feel so bad, I didn’t think this would happen to her.”

Ly had been working as a manicurist at the Beauté D’Amour Nails Studio on Yonge Street in Yorkville.

At the time of her death, Ly had a distinctive manicure of her own — a mint green, white and black design on her fingernails and toenails. In a rare move Tuesday, Toronto police released images of her unique nail art in an effort to identify her body, alongside photographs of the red Armani Exchange shirt she was wearing. By Wednesday evening, investigators had her name de ella, in part thanks to tips from the public.

Ownership records show that Ly purchased a house on Pape Avenue in 2002, the home where Thinh lived as a tenant. He kept in regular contact with Ly after he moved to Vancouver for a job, and Ly assured him if the move didn’t work out, he was welcome to come back and stay with her.

“She always opened her hands to help me with whatever I need, whenever I need help,” he said.

Ly’s main priorities were her son and starting a business, he said. Her hopes and dreams of her were centered on her son of her and ensuring he became more successful, said Thinh.

“She always told me that, what she did right now was for her son later,” he said.

Ly also had long ambitions to start a nail salon. She asked Thinh if he would start one with her but he said he wasn’t too interested in salons. Ly told him that if his job de ella in construction de ella did n’t work, he was welcome to come help her at her job de ella at the salon she now works at, he said.

She also wanted to help not only those in her native Vietnamese community “but anyone around her,” he said.

Toronto Police are urging anyone with information about Dallas Ly’s whereabouts to contact them immediately. Investigators want to communicate with anyone who drove through the area of ​​Eastern and Birkshire avenues between 10 am and 1:30 pm on Monday, March 28 and who may have dashcam video.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Toronto police’s homicide squad at 416-808-7400, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477 (TIPS) or

Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and policing for the Star. Reach her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis


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