For the second time in a week, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has been called to Mission for a suspicious death, after human remains were discovered on Tuesday evening.
Mission RCMP were called to Florence Lake Service Road after a person driving in the area located the remains. IHIT was called and took control of the investigation.
“IHIT is working closely with Mission RCMP, forensic identification services and the coroner’s office to positively identify the victim and determine the circumstances that led to this death,” said Sgt. Stephanie Ashton, IHIT’s media relations officer.
IHIT is already investigating another death after 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.
IHIT announced on March 25 that they are now leading that investigation, which they have deemed a homicide. The assailant has not yet been located.
The woman initially contacted Mission RCMP on March 11 to report she had been assaulted by a Caucasian man, 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.
Sgt. Shaun Wright said Mission RCMP did not inform the public of the assault in the park, as they believed there was no immediate danger to the public.
“Our investigation was ongoing and police were working to confirm details of the reported incident. The initial incident was unrelated to any other events and did not indicate an immediate danger to the public. Our commitment to the public is to provide them with the best information in order for them to reduce risk or assist with an investigation and we were still in the process of confirming that information,” Wright stated in an email to The Record.
The suspect is described as a Caucasian man 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 continuing to investigate both cases.
Inspector Ted De Jager, officer in charge of Mission RCMP said, “Public safety in the Stave Lake area is a priority for Mission detachment and will include increased police presence and enforcement this year. We are working with the District of Mission and our partners to build on the safety in this area and high density areas such as the downtown core. We have increased resources and developed two new teams to target offenders who commit the majority of crime and to develop pro-active solutions to building public safety and confidence in our community. Random incidents of violence in Mission are extremely rare, with only four per cent of all calls for service last year classified as violent crime, the majority of which involve a known offender. Mission detachment will continue to assist IHIT in this investigation.”
Anyone with information on either case is asked to contact the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers online at solvecrime.ca or by phone at 1-800-222-8477.