Homicide teams probe Maple Ridge death
Police in Maple Ridge, B.C. are investigating yet another suspicious death, which may be linked to an escalating drug war in the province's Lower Mainland.
Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokesperson Dale Carr said Friday a man's body has been found inside an SUV that appears to have crashed into a ditch.
Officers initially labelled the incident as a crash but a probe was launched after police recovered the driver's body from within the wrecked vehicle.
"Whether or not it's a slaying, I don't know yet. We are waiting for the autopsy to help us with that." said Carr.
The body was found Thursday in an isolated stretch of road near 216th Street and 132nd Avenue, an area favoured by dog walkers and joggers. It's the same area where Maple Ridge Mounties today confirmed a vehicle had been sprayed with bullets.
Ken Stewart owns the land adjacent to the ditch.
"Ya know, those are very big ditches down there so the body could've been there for a while before someone noticed it," he tells CTV News.
The death worries Stewart, who say their quiet rural refuge is no longer immune from big-city crime.
"In the old days, there were one or two gangs controlling the drug trade and the girls and all that-- now it seems more gangs then there are names in the phone book," says Stewart.
The victim has been identified as a 30-year-old Abbotsford man who is not known to police. The SUV doesn't belong to the man and officials have not said if the vehicle is stolen.
IHIT haven't released how the man died or if the case may be linked to drugs, organized crime or gangs.
Gunshots had been heard on Thursday, but it's not uncommon, as there is a shooting range and film studio facility nearby.
There have been 18 shootings in the Lower Mainland in the last month - seven of them fatal.