Police dig up field but won’t say why

Jason Proctor
The Province

Sunday, June 30, 2002

In an operation cloaked in mystery, Surrey RCMP called in forensic specialists and excavating equipment this weekend in order to tear up a small acreage believed to have some connection to a local murder.

Refusing to give a date, description or the slightest hint as to the nature of the crime police are probing, Const. Tim Shields nonetheless confirmed that officers are investigating a homicide. An apparent break in the case first led police late Thursday night to a field in the 18700 block of Hwy 10.

Surrey RCMP said excavations were homicide-related but offered no further explanations.

"It's a very sensitive, ongoing investigation which we don't want to jeopardize," Shields told a media group who gathered to watch a front-end loader shifting soil. "It's related to a homicide that we believe occurred in Surrey."

Information may have been sparse, but speculation was abundant. Broadcasting live from the scene, television reporters spoke about the search authoritatively while dancing deftly around the fact that no one actually knew anything of any substance.

Coming on the heels of an ongoing forensic dig by the Missing Women Task Force at the Port Coquitlam farm of multiple-murder suspect Robert "Willie" Pickton, neighbours were asking themselves whether similar crimes might have been committed in their backyards.

Shields said there was no connection between the cases. He also refused comment on possible links between the excavation and the high-profile "House of Horrors" crack house in Whalley -- where police claim sex-trade workers and drug addicts were tortured and killed. Two people were charged with first-degree murder in that case, but bodies are still said to be missing.

The property under scrutiny is a field bordered by blackberries and brambles. Police cut the grass down before marking off sites of potential interest on Friday. The acreage also contains a rental house whose occupants are not in any way connected to the case at hand, according to Shields.

© Copyright  2002 The Province



Missing Women Tip Line: 1-877-687-3377

Updated: August 21, 2016