Homicide victim's sister appeals for information, says brother was well-liked and well-known
VANCOUVER -- A homicide victim's sister made a passionate plea Wednesday to anyone who may have information about how her brother died in Richmond last year.
Michael Thompson, 37, was found in a house near Odlin and Garden City roads on Sept. 20, 2018.
At a news conference Wednesday, Thompson's sister, Tina Visentin, said she couldn't comprehend what the police were saying when they arrived at her door last year to give her the news.
"I arrived home from work that night like any other. The knock on the door that night changed my life forever," she said.
"What do you mean he's dead? Mike didn't have enemies and I couldn't process anything and nothing made sense. I asked myself, who would do this?"
Calling him "Mikey," Visentin said her brother was well-liked and well-known and that he loved to go fishing.
"I want people to know my brother wasn't always having hard times … but unfortunately the opioid world got a hold of him and took him down a different path," she said.
Police said Thompson was known to them following some property-related crimes and that his death appeared suspicious. At the time they did not reveal the cause of his death or whether the incident was targeted, but said there was no indication that Thompson was at all violent.
Sgt. Frank Jang with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team confirmed the last known sighting of Thompson was at a McDonald's attached to the Walmart on Alderbridge Way. Thompson was spotted at about 11:10 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2018 wearing a black baseball cap, a dark jacket with a grey hoodie underneath and blue jeans. He left the restaurant on a mountain bike.
However, Jang said investigators know there are several individuals who know what happened to Thompson.
"We need them to provide us a statement of what they know so that we can advance Michael's investigation," Jang said.
"We recognize that some witnesses may be worried for their own safety and we want to reassure them that IHIT will address their concerns and treat them with the utmost respect."
Anyone with information is asked to contact IHTI at 1-877-551-4448 or call Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous.