Nathalie Urbas is a seasoned police officer with years of experience, but it’s not very often she gets to keep a souvenir from a case she’s worked on.
“I keep it in my locker downstairs. Every time I put my uniform on, get ready for work, I think of her,” Urbas told Global News.
In the fall of 2018, Urbas was called to a scene she would never forget: a stabbing that nearly took the life of a 16-year-old girl. It was because of life-saving measures performed by Urbas and her partner David Monteiro that the girl was able to make a full recovery.
Although the 16-year-old, Jessica, miraculously survived the vicious attack, her alleged attacker, Harry Rajkumar, remains at large.
With an international warrant out for his arrest, Urbas says she still hopes for his capture nearly five-and-a-half years later.
Monteiro was patrolling the area of Eglinton Avenue East in Toronto, when a call came over his radio that sounded serious.
The dispatcher reported that a woman was banging on doors screaming that someone was trying to kill her kids. He was one of the first to arrive and sensed something was terribly wrong.
“As I ran down the hall and I saw the scene kind of unfolded. The door was open. There was a mother holding her young daughter in her arms. And she had severe wounds to her neck and cheek area,” explained Monteiro.
It was his and Urbas’s quick-thinking that saved the young girl’s life.
“Knowing that these older apartments take quite a bit of time to get a stretcher into the elevator, I made the decision that I was going to pick her up, and bring her downstairs just to get her out of there,” said Monteiro.
Urbas had arrived earlier and maintained pressure on the wound. She ran down the stairs with Monteiro, holding the girl’s hand and talking to her to keep her awake.
“I can put myself right back there. The injuries were so unlike anything I’d ever seen,” Urbas described to Global News.
While Urbas and David had slipped up the stairs to the apartment, Urbas believed the alleged attacker might have crossed paths.
“He went down the same stairwell that I came up, and I think about the timing of that. In a way, I’m sort of glad I didn’t see him there, because then I wouldn’t have been able to help and do what I did for the girl.”
Harry Rajkumar has a history of alleged domestic violence.
Days before the violent attack, he had been charged with assault and released on the condition that he would stay away from Jessica’s mother and receive counselling for alcohol addiction.
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Two days after the attack, Rajkumar was spotted on surveillance at a casino in Niagara Falls.
But that wasn’t the last spotting of him.
According to Sgt. Jesse Van Nest with the Toronto Police Service, tips have come in connecting Rajkumar to New York, Guyana and even an IP address pinging from China.
“We are just continuously liaising with the U.S. Marshal’s office and then our and Homeland Security, obviously they’re working from their point of view to see if they can identify him and find out where he is,” explained Van Nest.
Harry Rajkumar is described as having black hair and brown eyes.
He stands at a height of five feet and 11 inches, and weighs around 160 pounds.
Just before COVID-19 began and the world shut down, Urbas and Monteiro got the opportunity to do something they never expected: meet Jessica.
“I only had one picture of her in my mind at the time, which was when I saw that that night,” said Urbas. “So to see her face as a young girl, like all fixed up, it was amazing for me.”
Through all the years, Jessica also revealed to Urbas that nearly five years later, she still remembered her voice from that night.
“It made me super emotional. Then right at the end, she gave us all hugs and she said, ‘Thank you for saving my life.’”
To learn more about the hunt for Harry Rajkumar, tune into Global TV’s brand-new series Crime Beat: Most Wanted. The eight-episode series covers the hunt for Canada’s most wanted individuals airs on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. local time across the country.
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