Surrey police stay quiet about dig

RCMP brought in a backhoe to dig in a Cloverdale field as part of a homicide investigation

Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun

Saturday, June 29, 2002

Surrey RCMP investigating an unsolved homicide began using a backhoe Friday to dig up a grassy field on a two-hectare Cloverdale property.

RCMP Constable Tim Shields refused to release details about the homicide investigation that has led Surrey's serious crimes section to excavate the field at 18782 Highway 10, near the Langley City border.

RCMP have set up a command post, suggesting a lengthy search, on the property near the Surrey-Langley border. [BCTV News on Global]

But he did rule out any connection to the ongoing police excavation of a Port Coquitlam pig farm, where missing women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside were believed to have died. Robert Pickton, 52, faces seven first-degree murder charges in connection with that case.

Standing on the street in the rain as the backhoe worked behind him, Shields told news reporters Friday afternoon that a body had not been found in connection with the Surrey homicide case.

He wouldn't say whether police expected to find the body, a weapon or other evidence in the field, but said the excavation could take days. "We have not found anything of significance to the investigation," he said after three and a half hours of digging. "But we expect to be here a minimum of three or four days, maybe longer, depending on what we find."

He added that "some geophysical seismic equipment" is expected to be brought to the site soon to help search for anything buried.

Shields would not confirm whether the case is gang related or associated with a notorious Whalley crack house -- dubbed the "House of Horrors" by neighbours and police, a place where sex trade workers and drug addicts were allegedly tortured and murdered.

Vancouver Sun

Surrey RCMP excavate property at 188th Street and No. 10 Highway.

In January, two people were charged with first-degree murder in the death of a woman at the crack house on 108th Avenue.

Three others were investigated for the murder of a "John Doe" at the same house.

Neither the five people living on the Highway 10 property -- two in a boat being renovated, three in a dilapidated two-storey house -- nor the owners of the property are considered suspects in the homicide, Shields said.

"We don't know what's going on," said Maggie Herda, who has rented the home for six years. "They (police) are pretty quiet, pretty tight about what they're doing."

The home is at the north end of the property, whereas the excavation is at the south end. "We can't really see the back property that good," Herda said.

The property is owned by a collection of Vancouver and California investors operating under the business name Joyceland Enterprises Ltd. The company's Vancouver-based president, Cecilia Lau, also said she had been told nothing about the case.

"The police didn't tell us anything at all," she said. "We don't have a clue yet."

 Copyright 2002 Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Sun



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