Man charged with second-degree murder in death of filmmaker Reeyaz Habib

53-year-old Reeyaz Habib was found on June 8.  (Toronto Police Service - image credit)
53-year-old Reeyaz Habib was found on June 8. (Toronto Police Service - image credit)

A Toronto man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 53-year-old filmmaker Reeyaz Habib, whose body was found in a compactor near a Liberty Village townhouse complex in June, police say.

The 33-year-old charged with murder had previously been charged with indignity to a human body and obstruction of justice in relation to the death. On Friday, he was arrested again and charged with second-degree murder, according to a police news release issued Saturday.

Habib's death happened on June 8 around East Liberty Street and Western Battery Road, police said. He was reported missing on June 9.

The man charged in his death appeared in court on Saturday.

Habib was a filmmaker and alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre (CFC). The centre remembered him as a "gifted storyteller and filmmaker" who was finishing up his first feature Fat Lady Sriracha as a writer and director.

"This is a great loss for the CFC and Canada's creative community," the centre said in a statement online.

"Reeyaz will be deeply missed by so many."

In a press release shortly after police identified Habib, Fat Lady Sriracha producer Jaskaran Singh called Habib a "wonderfully kind spirit" with an "excitement for life, and telling the complex yet necessary stories within it."

"He brought us all together to fulfil a lifelong dream," wrote Singh. According to the release, Habib left behind a 15-year career on Bay Street to pursue a passion for filmmaking.

"We're extremely grateful for the time and trust we got to have with him, and look forward to honouring his legacy by making sure his story gets told."