Luxury realtor Jianguo (Tony) Han left his Mercedes at a Tim Hortons in Toronto and rode off in someone else's car the day before he and another man disappeared from a Mississauga mansion.
Mr. Han, 44, and Jun (Johnny) Fei, 40, were reported missing Thursday at around noon after Peel police were called to a house on Featherston Drive. Mr. Fei is the sole director of a numbered company that owns the house, which he had listed for sale through Mr. Han for $2.4-million.
Police found evidence of "concern" in the house but have refused to elaborate.
It was thought the two men might have left in Mr. Han's black 2010 Mercedes sedan, but on Thursday night, police found the car in the parking lot of a Tim Hortons at Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue. The restaurant is less than a kilometre from HomeLife Landmark Realty, the brokerage where Mr. Han works.
D.J. Kim, manager of the Tim Hortons, said security video shows that Mr. Han parked outside the restaurant at 12:45 p.m. last Wednesday, a full day before police were called.
"He got out of his car and came into the store and he bought something here," Mr. Kim told The Globe and Mail.
Minutes later, at 12:53, a different dark-coloured sedan pulled up in front of the restaurant, and Mr. Han got in on the passenger side before it drove off, Mr. Kim said. "The driver did not get out," he said.
The security video shows that Mr. Han's car remained in its parking spot until police arrived to investigate Thursday night at 10:55 p.m. Two-and-a-half hours later, police had a tow truck come to haul the car away, Mr. Kim said.
Peel police did not reveal that the car had been found until several days later.
Sergeant Zahir Shah, a police spokesman, would not confirm details of Mr. Kim's account or answer further questions about the case on Monday.
Little is known about Mr. Fei, but Mr. Han appears to be a well-known real-estate agent among well-to-do immigrants from mainland China, where he grew up in Shandong Province. The HomeLife Landmark brokerage that employs him, set up in 2004 by Tony Ma and Melody Lao, specializes in clients from abroad, according to its website.
"In order to better serve the community, it is of the utmost importance for us to provide the best service to many different ethnic groups," the site says. "Almost all of our salespersons are knowledgeable in two or more languages."
Mr. Han's personal website, meanwhile, boasts of his high-priced listings, his moneyed clients and his ascent from grass-cutting newcomer to wealthy real-estate agent.
Property records bolster his upwardly mobile narrative: In October, Mr. Han sold his home on Fenn Avenue in North York for just over $1-million and bought a $2.5-million manse a few kilometres to the southeast, within striking distance of the exclusive Bridle Path enclave, where he currently has a $30-million listing.
Mr. Han's new home, on Misty Crescent, carries a $1.4-million mortgage. Chinese-language news reports suggest he and his wife have a teenage son.