Two young women were found dead near top tourist spot, rapper accused of their murder

victims
Source: The Niagara Regional Police Service

Aug. 27 2021, Published 2:24 p.m. ET

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A 22-year-old rapper faces two counts of first-degree murder after two bodies were found in a short-term rental near one of Canada's top tourists' spots, police said.

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Christopher Lucas, who is also known as the rapper "El Plaga," has been arrested in connection to the murders of Juliana Pannunzio, 20, and Christine Crooks, 18, according to Niagara Regional Police.

This arrest comes after police offered up to $100,000 for information that would solve the crimes, according to the CBC.

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Around 4 a.m. Jan. 19, police received a 911 call about possible shots fired, the CBC reported.

Officers arrived and discovered the bodies of Pannunzio and Crooks in residence with “obvious signs of trauma,” according to the CBC.

The victims died at the scene from gunshot wounds, police say.

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A group of people, including Pannunzio and Crooks, who weren’t from the Niagara region, were staying at a short-term rental accommodation, officers told the CBC. Some of these people fled when police arrived at the scene.

Two weeks ago, Niagara police said investigators identified two of the people who were at the Fort Erie home that night, which marked progress in the case. Not everyone has cooperated with police officers, the CBC reported.

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Niagara police said it arrested Lucas with the help of the Toronto police, according to the CBC.

Stephanie Sabourin, a spokesperson for Niagara police, did not confirm any other details in the case.

"We're very emotional. We're relieved but this is Step 1 in a long process," Lisa Mulcaster, Pannunzio's mother, told the CBC in a phone interview.

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In a Facebook message to the CBC, she added, "it makes all of this a reality. A reality that we are never going to see her, hug her, laugh with her or have any more memories with her."

Police say the investigation is ongoing and police are asking anyone with information or evidence to contact the Niagara Regional Police Service's homicide unit tip line at (289) 248-1058.

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