Jianguo (Tony) Han started out cutting lawns and wound up a luxury realtor with his own high-end home in North York, where starry skies brought warm memories of childhood in China's Shandong province.
Since his disappearance from a 15-room Mississauga mansion, a cold silence has descended around the storybook life described on Mr. Han's website. The 44-year-old realtor went missing from the home along with its one-time owner, Jun (Johnny) Fei, 40.
Police in Peel Region have released few details beyond the fact that officers were called to the house at 1801 Featherston Drive, listed by Mr. Han for $2.4-million, by a relative of one of the two men at around noon on Thursday. Family members told police it was out of character for either of them to go missing.
The house remained taped off as forensics personnel came and went, but investigators would not say what they found inside, suggesting that whatever it was reinforced the notion that the disappearance was suspicious.
"We found some things in the house that would verify [family]concern about their being missing," said Constable Wayne Patterson.
The officer's hazy description belies the thorough detail of a sales video cataloguing every feature of the property, which sits on a dead-end cul-de-sac a block from the University of Toronto Mississauga campus: its marble-floored foyer and winding oak staircase, its five bedrooms, its two airy kitchens and expansive back yard. The home has seven bathrooms, a pool and a fireplace.
Police said the two men may be in a black 2010 four-door Mercedes Benz, registered to Mr. Han, with Ontario licence plate BHWC 968.
Mr. Han is listed as an agent with HomeLife Landmark Realty, a brokerage headquartered in North York, where Mr. Han lives.
A rough translation of materials on his personal website suggests he gave an interview at some point to a Chinese-language journalist, who described Mr. Han's home as "simple and lucid" in its modern design, and its owner as a hard-working immigrant with an appreciation for art, architecture and literature.
The article describes his clients as "from all over the world and across all walks of life," including "famous painters, domestic real estate tycoons, entrepreneurs, IT elite...[a]mysterious coal boss...company executives, and [a]famous fashion designer."
Mr. Han, from Shandong province on China's east coast, is presented as an expert in luxury properties, and he lists several houses and condominiums in suburban Toronto, including a $30-million mansion in the exclusive Bridle Path.
The article mentions how, through his work, Mr. Han helps immigrants begin their new lives in Canada, as he once did.
Elsewhere on the site, Mr. Han writes about the importance of education and says he specializes in finding homes close to top-notch schools. Photographs show him receiving a trophy at a company function and posing with a woman identified as his wife, along with brokerage founder Tony Ma.
Mr. Ma did not respond to requests for comment. Others at the firm refused to say anything about their colleague.
"I have nothing at all to tell you…it is very busy here right now," said one woman who identified herself as "Cici" before hanging up the phone.
Police, meanwhile, would say little about Mr. Fei, other than that he is also a North York resident. Property records, however, indicate he bought the house for nearly $1.2-million in July of 2004. In October 2006, he transferred it to a numbered company for the fee of $1.
Neither man is known to police, Constable Patterson said.
With a report from Ann Hui