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Suspects Identified In 3 Deaths

Police want blood and hair samples from two young men living in Canada as part of their investigation into the slayings of three members of a family last July.

Atif Rafay, 18, and Sebastian Burns, 19, are now suspects in the slayings, Bellevue police spokesman Lt. Jack McDonald said Friday.

McDonald said King County prosecutors “now agree with us that the information gathered to date gives us probable cause to arrest Atif and Sebastian for investigation of homicide. That is, if they were in the United States. Unfortunately, they’re not.’

Police want to know if they can link blood found at the crime scene with the youths, who are living in West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Killed were Tariq and Sultana Rafay, both 56, and their 20-year-old daughter, Basma. The Rafays, Pakistanis who were naturalized Canadian citizens, had just moved to Bellevue. Tariq Rafay worked as a consulting engineer.

Atif Rafay is the couple’s son. Burns is Atif’s friend.”If the Bellevue police think my kid has to prove his innocence, well, that’s not the way the legal system’s supposed to work,” he told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in a telephone interview.The young men’s attorney, Patrick Beirne of Vancouver, B.C., did not return a telephone message left at his office Saturday.

The triple slaying happened while Atif Rafay was home on summer break from Cornell University.

Rafay and Burns told police at the time they had been out on the town and arrived home in the wee hours of July 13 to find the battered bodies in separate locations. A medical examiner’s report said the victims had been beaten with a blunt instrument, but no weapon has been found.

Rafay and Burns left town a few days after the slayings and took a Greyhound bus for Vancouver. The two have since been living at the Burns’ family home in West Vancouver.

Meanwhile, a Kirkland attorney representing Atif Rafay has worked out an agreement with police to release the Rafay home from police red tape after Jan. 31.

From Vancouver, Atif Rafay began trying to claim the house shortly after the slayings.

A group of people apparently looking for a place to party Thursday night broke into the vacant home, setting off silent alarms.

Tags: murder