Title: Bridget Takyi, devoted mother of two, mourned by friends
By:Victoria Ptashnick / Dated 21-1-13
**Bridget Takyi, a 27-year-old mother of two, was on her way to work when she was stabbed and then set ablaze on an Etobicoke street on Saturday.
Emmanuel Owusu Ansah, 30, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a woman whose body was founding lying on an Etobicoke street on Saturday
Bridget Takyi was supposed to be planning a trip to Disney World with her two little boys and best high school friend.
Instead, her friend will be helping plan the 27-year-old woman’s funeral.
Takyi’s body was found Saturday on Richgrove Dr., in the Martin Grove Rd. and Eglinton Ave. W. area.
Her identity couldn’t initially be confirmed because she was burned so badly she was “virtually unrecognizable,” police said. She was the city’s third homicide victim of the year.
“Her death was extremely violent. It included . . . being stabbed and being set on fire using a flammable substance,” said Det. Brian Borg.
Borg said Takyi was attacked at around 4 a.m. Saturday when she was walking to her car en route to work.
Her friends say she had dropped her toddler-aged sons at her mother’s house before she went to waitress at Pearson airport.
At a Monday news conference, Borg showed several photos of evidence he hoped the public might recognize, including a red gasoline can, an empty box advertising a large knife on the front and a gas can label.
Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, 30, the father of Takyi’s two children, has been charged with first-degree murder. He will appear in court Tuesday.
More than a month ago, Owusu-Ansah was charged with assaulting the woman with a weapon and threatening to kill her, police said. He was released on bail Dec. 5 with numerous conditions including house arrest.
Takyi’s friends said she was an extremely private person and they knew nothing about the abuse in her relationship.
“She was so independent, she took everything in her own hands, she was so private about her life, that’s why this is catching everybody off guard,” said her friend, Augusta Bruce.
Bruce said Takyi had just graduated from a medical office administration program at Centennial College and was living alone with her sons.
“She was so hard-working. She rarely ever took days off and she volunteered at a hospital downtown every week,” Bruce said.
She said Takyi’s murder has shaken their group of friends and her family to the core.
“She was such a caring, genuine person. I still can’t believe she’s gone,” Bruce said, her eyes tearing up.
Her friends have taken comfort in planning a candlelight vigil set for 6 p.m. Saturday outside the apartment block at 44 Willowridge Rd., near where her body was found.
As they gathered in her mother’s apartment, they swapped stories about Takyi.
One man laughed and recalled how she always tried to get him to come to church with her.
Another young woman remembered how annoyingly “good” Takyi was when she was a teenager at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic High School in Etobicoke.
“She would never skip class, no matter how hard you tried to get her to,” the woman said, smiling.
Several stories were told about how her two boys were the centre of her universe, how she planned elaborate birthday parties for them and worked hard to provide a good life.
Her family worries about the boys’ future now that their mother is gone and father is charged in her death.
Takyi’s family said her mother will take care of the two boys, but it will be hard.
“She already works, she will have to quit her job. Our family will never be the same now,” Takyi’s uncle said in her mother’s living room where a group of 14 family members huddled to grieve on Monday night.
“There is a void that just can’t be filled.”
Family and friends are now in the process of trying to set up a trust fund for the young boys