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Too early to identify body found in burning car in Abbotsford, says homicide investigator
Published Saturday, November 16, 2019 8:58AM PST Last Updated Sunday, November 17, 2019 8:59AM PST
VANCOUVER - The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team and Abbotsford Police are appealing for witnesses and dash cam video after a body was found in a burning vehicle in north Abbotsford.
Firefighters responded to a report of a vehicle fire on Bates Road near Harris Road at around 10:40 p.m. Friday night.
"When they got there, they found an SUV fully engulfed in flames, and they found a body inside,” said Sgt. Frank Jang of IHIT.
Saturday, in heavy rain, investigators could be seen examining the SUV under a large tent on the edge of a blueberry field.
In the aftermath of the fire, police were not able to immediately identify the victim.
"Our victim is believed to be a male, but it's too soon to really comment any further about our victim's identity,” said Jang. “That is going to be the priority for our investigators, so we're working hard to determine that. And once we know that, we're going to look at his background."
There have been no confirmed homicides in Abbotsford so far this year, and while police acknowledge this could become the first, at this point it has only been deemed a suspicious death.
That distinction provides little comfort to people living nearby.
"This area is no stranger to this. We see it in the news all the time. We hear about it. We read it in the local papers,” said local resident Dan Beaumont as he stopped his truck to watch police work. “It just seems its where everybody goes to do their dirty business. It's frustrating. It's in our backyard and we don't want it."
Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has dash cam video or any other information to contact the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.