Missing man's body found in Brampton

Peel police homicide Insp. Norm English would not reveal the cause of death yesterday or whether Koutroubis's body was found in the trunk of his car. Investigators are working with other police forces to probe the victim's background. English said it was too early to say whether the slaying looked like an underworld execution.

The Toronto Star
February 2, 2009

Missing man's body found in Brampton
Michele Henry and Jim Wilkes

George Koutroubis has been found dead, despite fervent hopes and efforts by friends and family to locate the 36-year-old businessman.

His body, showing "obvious signs of trauma," was discovered in Brampton Sunday in his new BMW SUV. It was parked outside a Steeles Ave. W. apartment building, overlooking the Shoppers World mall.

Police said someone else had driven the vehicle to the area.

Last week, relatives and friends plastered posters around the GTA, began a Twitter feed that reached more than 25,000 people and raised more than $80,000 in case a reward was needed to bring Koutroubis home safely.

"My son has only friends, no enemies," his father, Gus Koutroubis, had said. "No one has reason to kidnap or to kill my son or do any bad things to him. He was a great guy. He was a good, family boy."

Koutroubis, 36, known for an ever-buzzing BlackBerry and his speed at returning calls, last made contact with relatives and friends around 4:45 p.m. last Tuesday. He was in Whitby about to meet a client, he told his brother Bill Koutroubis. Calls to his BlackBerry a half-hour later went unanswered. He was never heard from again.

While Koutroubis had many business endeavours, police said not all of them were legitimate. He was considered a bookie and known to "facilitate sports bets."

Peel police homicide Insp. Norm English would not reveal the cause of death yesterday or whether Koutroubis's body was found in the trunk of his car. Investigators are working with other police forces to probe the victim's background.

English said it was too early to say whether the slaying looked like an underworld execution.

A newlywed, Koutroubis and his wife, Rhoda, had planned to set sail last Friday on their honeymoon, a one-week Caribbean cruise.

Yesterday, friends and family congregated at Six Steps restaurant, a trendy haunt on Colborne St., near Church and Front Sts., which Koutroubis co-owned. He also owned rental properties around the GTA and a UPS store on Front St. W.

He was described as shy around new acquaintances, but outgoing around those he knew well.

Relatives and friends bearing condolence gifts gathered last night at the Victoria Park Village bungalow belonging to Koutroubis's parents to remember "a good guy."

Neighbour Adriana Giambattista said she had known Koutroubis since he was a boy. "They're the best neighbours and George was a great kid. He was always so polite," she said, standing on her porch with tears in her eyes.

Koutroubis's business partner, Pat Quinn, said he was "shocked" to hear of his friend's death. "He was a beautiful man and a very good person," said Quinn, who co-owned Six Steps.

Long-time friend George Tsiolis said Koutroubis was "the buddy that every guy dreams of having."

"He was the first guy to pick up the cheque and the first guy to congratulate you on your success. He was that kind of a guy."

With files from Kenyon Wallace


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