Police Make Arrest in Lotfi Homicide

Mayor Brian Bowman with Hossein Lotfi (Supplied)

On Friday, February 23, 2018, the Winnipeg Police Service issued a press release announcing arrests in the first homicide case of the year.

On January 9, 2018 at 8:00 p.m., East District patrol officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of St. Anne’s Road and Fermor Avenue.

Police reported “suspicious” circumstances surrounding the traffic stop led officers to attend a residence in the 100 block of Manila Road in the city’s north end.

Officers subsequently located the body of a deceased adult male inside a residence.

The victim was identified as Hossein Lotfi (77) of Winnipeg.

The investigation continued by members of the WPS Homicide Unit.

Police indicate they determined the victim had been socializing with two women at his residence during the evening of January 5, 2018 when a physical confrontation occurred.

The victim was left in an “incapacitated state” while the two women fled in his vehicle.

Police believe he died sometime later that day.

(The two women arrested during the traffic stop were not charged in connection with the homicide, however, they we’re charged with offences in connection with being in unlawful possession of the victim’s motor vehicle.)

During the evening of January 6, 2018, the original two female suspects, along with three other individuals, returned to the victim’s residence and stole a number of items.  Prior to leaving, a fire was set which caused extensive damage to the property.

Police report the victim’s identification, bank and credit cards were used over the following days in and around the City of Winnipeg.

The following suspects have now been charged in connection with this case;

Yvonne Littlejohn (36) of Winnipeg

  • 2nd degree murder
  • theft over $5,000

Myra Dawn Bird (35) of Winnipeg

  • 2nd degree murder
  • Arson
  • Theft Over $5,000
  • Theft Under $5,000
  • Fraud Under $5,000 x 4

Charles Clayton Shabaquay (43) of Winnipeg

  • Arson
  • Possess Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
  • Theft Over $5,000
  • Identity Fraud x 3
  • Fraud Under $5,000 x 8

17 Year Old Male

  • Arson
  • Theft Under $5,000

15 Year Old Female

  • Theft Under $5,000 x 2

Police advise the fifteen (15) year old female was released on a Promise to Appear while the other suspects were all detained in custody.

Police have not released the official cause of death.

Insider Commentary;

WPS Public Information Officer Constable Jay Murray

Police Public Information Officer Constable Jay Murray praised the patrol officers who initiated the traffic stop that led to the resolution of this crime;

“Part of being a police officer is intuition and these officers demonstrated that perfectly, they made the decision, after not being able to contact the registered owner, to send a cruiser car to the house at which time those officers noticed the house had been burnt, entered the residence and found this person deceased.”

He continued…

“I spoke to the Homicide Sergeant in charge of this investigation just this morning and he really wanted to emphasis the difficulties we would have had in this case had those officers not made that decision. It’s very likely that Mr. Lotfi would not have been found for maybe a week or more and you can imagine how forensic evidence and video surveillance degrades as time proceeds. So, it was critical to this investigation that these officers made the decision to attend the house, it allowed the investigators to jump-start the investigation.”

In law enforcement we call that initiative…

Initiative is a trait that can take a police officer far in a career in policing.

Police seized video evidence associated with crimes committed in connection with the victims identification, bank and credit cards.  Much of that evidence could have been lost if the officers hadn’t initiated an investigation.

The fact is, most homicide cases start with involvement of front line patrol officers.

The success of the case can often rise or fall based on the actions taken during those early critical moments of the case.

This investigation is a text-book example of how things can go right when initiative and instinct successfully merge.

Solvency Rate;

The WPS Homicide Unit has now solved all four (4) reported homicide cases this year.

Solvency rate = 100%.

At this time last year, the City of Winnipeg recorded five (5) homicides.


  • Male – 3
  • Female – 1

Perpetrators Charged:

  • Male – 2
  • Female – 3


  • Stabbing – 3
  • Not Reported – 1

Share your thoughts - we value your opinion!