Mother in Richmond Hill ‘family tragedy’ homicide was trying to save son from self harm

The father and husband of two people found dead in a domestic homicide in Richmond Hill last week says Karen Costa was trying to protect her son from harming himself when she was killed.

Police found two people deceased with “obvious signs of trauma” inside a house on Dunvegan Drive, near Garden Avenue and Hunters Point Drive, just before 11 a.m. Thursday.

York Regional Police Const. Andy Pattenden said investigators believe the homicide is “domestic-related” and are not currently searching for suspects.


READ MORE: Police identify mother and son found dead in Richmond Hill ‘domestic’ homicide

On Friday, the deceased were identified as Richmond Hill residents Karen Costa, 52, and Jeffrey Costa, 22.

“As we mourn the loss of Karen and Jeffrey, we do find solace in knowing that they are together in heaven,” Sam Costa said in a release, adding that the family would not be issuing further comment.

“As a mother and son, they had a strong and undeniable bond. They were at the core of a very loving family. Together we shared many milestones and happy memories. Our family was, and still is, grounded in respect, love and compassion for one another.

“We, as a family, never wavered in our unconditional support for Jeffrey who had been struggling with mental health issues.”

Costa said the “unspeakable tragedy” was the result of a “loving and protective mother trying to save her son from harming himself.”

He added that his family had been involved with mental health fundraising efforts for two decades, and never thought they “would be so directly affected and altered by this illness.”

WATCH: Two bodies discovered inside Richmond Hill home

“The void of their sudden loss is unexplainable,” Costa said, before thanking York Regional Police, Western University and other agencies during the “family tragedy.”

Western University said in a release that students and faculty were mourning the death of the social sciences student.

“Jeffrey served as a Soph in both Medway-Sydenham Hall and Social Science and was well-known by many on campus,” the school said in a release.

“The Western community’s thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

READ MORE: Witnesses sought after 2 people found dead in Richmond Hill ‘domestic’ homicide: police

Grief support counsellors were available on campus for students and staff throughout the weekend.

“Karen and Jeffrey were so cherished and loved by their family and so many countless friends, co-workers, acquaintances and classmates,” Costa said.

“The words of condolences and support we have received have been overwhelming and have brought much comfort to myself and my other two children.”