Yun “Lucy” Lu Li and her boyfriend, Oliver Karafa, were arrested Saturday while on the run in Budapest. The pair, being called the “Millennial Bonnie and Clyde,” are charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder, after shooting a couple in Canada in February.
Hungarian police apprehended the pair after a month-long manhunt, in which Li and Karafa fled from Canada into eastern Europe, traveling through Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and finally stopping in Budapest. Both Li and Karafa await extradition back to Canada, where they will be tried for the death of a 28-year-old father of three, Tyler Pratt.
The murder occurred on February 28, when Yun “Lucy” Lu Li and Oliver Karafa allegedly murdered Pratt in an industrial park on Arvin Avenue in Stoney Creek. The couple also attempted the murder of Pratt’s pregnant fiancée, though she has since been released from the hospital and is doing well.
According to Pratt’s mother, Jonni Yeomans, Pratt’s fiancée lost her baby due to her injuries, though there has been no confirmation whether Li and Karafa will be charged for that death. Yeomans described her son as a “phenomenal father” to his three kids, and the shooting robbed her not only of her son but of her grandson too.
“We’ve gone through a devastating time,” Yeomans admitted, though she claims that the couple’s arrest has been a “beautiful gift” and “ an answer to a prayer.” Li and Karafa were taken into custody on Pratt’s sister’s birthday, and the knowledge that the suspects have been caught has been comforting to Yeomans.
One of the suspects, Yun “Lucy” Lu Li, is a Canadian social media influencer and the daughter of a Toronto businesswoman. Li is part of a set of triplets who all post religiously on Instagram to a massive following.
Li’s mother, Winnie Liao, is a prominent figure in Canada and has been seen shaking hands with high-profile figures like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Liao is the president of an asset management firm called Respon International Group, which has deep pockets and extensive political connections.
Yun “Lucy” Lu Li arrest “deeply shocked” her family, who said they were “disturbed and puzzled by Lucy’s involvement in the unfortunate incident.” The “Clyde” to Li’s “Bonnie,” Oliver Karafa, has a criminal history and was imprisoned for five years following a DUI death. In 2012, Karafa was drunk when he and David Chiang were in a car accident, ejecting Chiang from his passenger seat and into a pole. The victim died at the scene.
In 2014, Karafa was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter and was released in 2019. He and Li have been together for an undisclosed amount of time, though it is said they are boyfriend and girlfriend.
The two were located by the Hungarian Fugitive Active Search Team, which was part of an international investigation spanning multiple countries. Both Li and Karafa had fled Canada within 24 hours of the murder, and have been missing since February. When they were finally identified as suspects, the month-long manhunt began.
During a media briefing Monday, Det.-Sgt. Jim Callender applauded the Hungarian department for their active role in apprehending the fugitives, saying that “the efforts of the police services are what led to” the arrest. Callender explained that “it’s been a journey that has taken a lot of strides and a lot of new information that has led to this.”
Having the fugitives in custody is a great feeling, the Det.-Sgt also said. “One of the greatest feelings is telling the families,” he admitted. “I think there is a desire for the investigative team, you see the satisfaction on the team, but that is just amplified once you can see the faces of the surviving victim and hear the voices of the family that’s in B.C.”
According to police, the victims, Tyler Pratt and his fiancée, were somewhat acquainted with the suspects. But the extent of their connection is unknown. A motive has not been identified and no court date has been set since the couple is still waiting to be extradited to Canada.