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Homicide investigators identify Richmond father who was killed with 13-year-old son

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Homicide investigators have identified a father who was killed in his home with his 13-year-old son in Richmond on Nov. 30 – and say an image of a suspect was captured by a surveillance camera.

Forty-six-year-old Derrek Chen was one of the two people slain in the residence on Goldsmith Drive, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team revealed at a news conference Friday. The identity of his son is not being released "out of respect for him as a minor," spokesperson Sgt. Timothy Pierotti said. The father and son were the only people at home at the time.

"There's a family right now that's going through the unimaginable, that have suffered such a loss," Pierotti said.

"We're still working to identify a motive. We're asking anyone who may know Mr. Chen to contact us if they can provide us any insight on who would want to do this to a 46-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy. If you know of some reason that they might be hurt, please contact us," he added.

Authorities say the killings were not random and that there is not believed to be any risk to public safety.

"We believe that someone entered that residence with the intention of hurting somebody," Pierotti said.

"Now, determining exactly who that was who went to that residence, who they were intending to hurt to what extent they were looking to hurt someone – that's an investigation that we're actively working on now," he explained.

A suspect was caught on surveillance video near the home at 8:40 p.m., Pierotti said, describing the person as wearing a dark coat, white hat, "balaclava-style" face mask and jeans.

IHIT shared an image of the suspect, noting at the news conference that it is so grainy that police can’t yet say say if the suspect is a man or a woman.

The suspect fled on foot into London Fields Park, a large park with a playground and multiple sports fields that has a number of entry and exit points.

While police say they have canvassed the neighbourhood for witnesses and CCTV, they are appealing to people who don’t live in the area but who were visiting the park

"We need to speak with absolutely everybody," Pierotti said.

Anyone who was in the park between 8:30 and 9 p.m. on Nov. 30 – whether they saw something or not – is urged to contact police. Anyone else who has information is also asked to contact investigators at 877-551-4448. 

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