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Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti were daughters of Mohammad Shafia, 58 and his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41. Rona, who was herself infertile, was the first wife of Mohammad Shafia in their polygamous household.On July 23, 2009, Mohammad, Tooba Yahya, and Hamed were arrested on charges of four counts of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder They were found guilty of all four counts by the jury in January 2012.In 1989, he took Tooba Yahya to be his second wife in a polygamous marriage, and she gave birth to seven children, though Rona played a crucial role in their upbringing and raised the children as if they were her own.

Rona's siblings claimed that she feared for her life during the days leading up to her death.

Mohammad Shafia was at the Kingston Police station to report that four of their family – three teenage daughters and a purported aunt – were missing.

Police initially believed that it was a tragic, if bizarre, accident, and first categorized it as a "sudden death investigation".

“Muslims across the country, however, say the revelations in a Kingston, Ont., courtroom have shone a light on problematic aspects of their culture and illuminated new ways to tackle the issues.” Pascale Fournier, writing for The Ottawa Citizen, said that there was a greater tragedy in the failure of the state to intervene before the murders occurred, and that vulnerable groups from immigrant communities need the most protection but rarely get it.

In addition to covering every detail of the trial, The Globe and Mail published a piece with the "ten most shocking quotes" from the Shafia trial one of which was by Crown attorney Gerard Laarhuis after the verdicts which is as follows: “This jury found that four strong, vivacious and freedom-loving women were murdered by their own family in the most troubling of circumstances.

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