Owner of destroyed B.C. restaurant commits suicide
Published Sunday, February 17, 2008 9:48PM EST
The owner of a Vancouver restaurant destroyed in a suspected arson attack has committed suicide, police said Sunday.
The body of Manjeet Nanda, who owned the Taco Del Mar restaurant where the fire was first set last Wednesday, was found on a beach near Squamish.
Police said Nanda had likely plunged to her death from a nearby cliff.
Investigators believe the fire was deliberately set inside Nanda's restaurant with the use of an accelerant. The resulting explosion demolished the Taco Del Mar and heavily damaged a neighbouring Starbucks.
Just hours after the blast, Nanda had told CTV British Columbia that she was under great stress from the arson attack.
"I am very shaken up," said Nanda. "And hardly standing up ... I'd just like to know what happened."
She had denied having anything to do with the explosion.
Nanda was reported missing Thursday night, sources told CTV B.C., and her abandoned car was discovered on Friday morning.
Shortly after the explosion, officers placed a suspect in custody when he arrived at Surrey Memorial hospital. He was badly injured and had burns covering roughly 40 per cent of his body.
Police have not yet laid charges or identified the suspect.
The blast was described as "an air fuel explosion" by Vancouver police Const. Tim Fanning, referring to when an accelerant ignites in the air.
It was so powerful that it shattered a window on the sixth floor of a Holiday Inn across the street. A resident inside -- reportedly a member of the Canadian Forces -- was startled but physically unhurt.
Damages to the area were estimated at two million dollars, including structural damage to a nearby medical building.
With files from CTV British Columbia