|Manjinder Litt holds 31/2-year-old Kirinjot and talks in his Brampton driveway about his missing wife, Poonam. She hasn't been seen since the morning of Feb. 5, 2009. (Joe Warmington, QMI Agency)
BRAMPTON, Ont. - It's a home under siege and yet its inhabitants appear remarkably relaxed, considering the bizarre circumstances.
"Everything is normal," said husband of missing Poonam Litt, Manjinder, 31, calmly as he left Wednesday for his truck driver's job.
The comment came less than 24 hours after Peel Police labelled this Cordgrass Cres. home as one where "foul play" may have occurred and "persons residing within the Litt household know very well what happened" to his pregnant 27-year-old wife who disappeared Feb. 5, 2009.
"Some family members are co-operating and some are outright lying," said Det. Dan Richardson, adding this is a case where a young mother has been forgotten like "garbage" in a division between "certain old world values that are not acceptable in Canada."
Peel Homicide Insp. Norm English added: "It is only a matter of time before the exact truth is uncovered and this despicable family secret is revealed."
But Manjinder, who was in India with his mother when his wife vanished, said Wednesday that while he is co-operating, he does not believe there are any family secrets. "I have asked my father and sister so many times," he said.
Re-offering his $25,000 reward for information, he said "nobody knows" what happened to Poonam.
What is known is his 61-year-old father, Kulwant -- convicted of a 2007 sex assault and in a criminal harassment stalking case following the disappearance in 2009 -- said he left the home at 7 a.m. Police have said they also know somebody left that home in a green mini-van with tinted windows just after 1 a.m. and returned just after 4 a.m. on the day Litt disappeared.
Who was that? And what exactly was that all about?
Kulwant's daughter Mandeep told me this week it had nothing to do with Poonam because she saw her leave for her dental receptionist job at 9 a.m., when "she gave me the baby" and left.
There is no video evidence of Poonam, whose wallet, credit card and keys for the office were left at her home, making that 15-minute walk to work at the corner of Steeplebush Ave. and Torbram Road. Her employer, Dr. Roopali Sharma, said she knew the "special" Poonam "loved her husband and daughter too much" to have ever taken off on her own.
But holding their 31/2-year-old baby Kirinjot in his driveway, Manjinder said he is satisfied there is nothing untoward going on inside his home and that Internet innuendo of a conspiracy and a crime of honour are simply "not true."
Declaring that "I want my woman back," he said the Litt household is "happy" and added rhetorically: "If they (dad and sister) have any information, why don't they pass it along to police?"
When she didn't show up for work, calls were made to her home from her workplace inquiring about her whereabouts, sources say.
Why did no one at her home report Poonam missing on the day she didn't show up for work? In fact, Poonam's biological family members, who also live in Brampton, told me it was, in fact, them who called police.
Manjinder, who has previously mentioned he had such questions, said: "The investigation is on. Let's see."
He's right about that. The investigation is on as Peel homicide, which strives to solve 100% of its cases, is now actively involved.
"For us, this is just getting started," English said.
"This is just the beginning and on Poonam's behalf we will be seeing this through until the end."
For the Litt family on Cordgrass Cres., police, the community and media being interested in this case 24/7 is their new normal.