Police have confirmed that a 53-year-old woman who was assaulted in a Mission park was found dead in her home almost two weeks later from injuries related to the attack.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced on Friday afternoon that they are now leading the investigation into the case, which they have deemed a homicide.
The assailant has not yet been located, but police were offering no details on Friday about why the public was not previously informed of the attack or whether they believe there is any risk to public safety.
The woman initially contacted Mission RCMP on March 11 to report that she had been assaulted by a Caucasian male, one or two days prior, while walking through Fenn Park.
On Monday (March 21) shortly after 9:30 p.m., Mission RCMP responded to a residence in the 33000 block of Third Avenue. The woman was found deceased inside.
No apparent cause of injury could be established, and the coroner was called in.
As the death was suspicious, IHIT was consulted and remained involved with the investigation pending the autopsy results.
The autopsy was completed yesterday (Wednesday), and the cause of death was consistent with injuries the victim sustained in the earlier assault in Fenn Park, IHIT said.
The agency is working closely with the Mission RCMP to continue the investigation.
IHIT and Mission RCMP have notified the victim’s family and are continuing to canvass neighbours in the area.
The suspect is described as a Caucasian male with brown hair, 25 to 30 years old, approximately 5’ 9” with piercing blue eyes. He was wearing a black hoodie and white running shoes.
IHIT is asking anyone with information about this assault, now homicide, to contact the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 to remain anonymous.