An elderly couple who were due to return to Hong Kong today for a celebration have been murdered in their Canadian home. Retired primary school teacher Choi Chuk-tung, 75, and his wife Choi Leung Chun-ho, 74, were probably killed early on Sunday, but were not found until about 12 hours later. The bodies were discovered by a friend of the family who had agreed to look after their pet rabbits while they travelled to Hong Kong to celebrate gaining Canadian citizenship. The couple's eldest son, William Tsui Sai-leung, 48, said they had bought tickets and packed their bags to fly to Hong Kong for the first time since emigrating to Canada five years ago. Police have refused to reveal details ahead of autopsies to be carried out today. Mr Tsui said he was told that his parents had been beaten to death and money had been taken from their home in the middle-class suburb of Coquitlam. Mr Tsui, head of a Chinese University laboratory, is banned from flying because of a recent ear operation, but his wife, sister and brother will go to Vancouver to claim the bodies and help the police inquiry. The murders were discovered after the couple's friend, Mr Fung, called on a neighbour when he got no reply at the Chois' house. Brian Eve, who was at the neighbours, found the Chois' front door unlocked and found the bodies downstairs. Mr Tsui went to Vancouver in 1989 and sponsored his parents to join him in 1992. He moved back to Hong Kong with his wife and three children in 1995 after being offered a job by the Chinese Medicinal Material Research Centre. He had continued to visit his parents, and this was to be their first trip back to Hong Kong since they had emigrated. 'I am so sorry that they will never be able to make the trip,' Mr Tsui said. 'I never expected that such a violent crime against two harmless Hong Kong emigrants could occur in a peaceful place like Canada. 'They took the life of my parents and broke my heart.' Mr and Mrs Choi were born in Guangdong and had three children there before coming to Hong Kong in the 1950s.