Police are warning sex trade workers to be wary, after a woman’s body was found dumped in a park near the Langley-Surrey Thursday.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) identified the victim found near Hi-Knoll Park as Lisa Ann Zielke, 41, of Surrey. Investigators said she was living a high-risk lifestyle, was drug-dependent, and was actively working as a sex-trade worker.
On Monday, IHIT released photos of some pieces of furniture that were found dumped near the scene, hoping they could potentially identify a person of interest in the police investigation.
“Investigators believe that the timeline of when Lisa Ann was in the park is very close to the timeline that the furniture would have been dumped. The individual(s) who dumped the furniture may have information about her death and police are looking to identify and speak with them,” said Sgt. Jennifer Pound.
Pound said police were also canvassing various locations, distributing posters and speaking with women engaged in a similar lifestyle, urging them to take extra precautions.
Police say Zielke was last seen alive Oct. 30 at about 6:15 p.m. when she was seen getting into a vehicle near 91 Avenue and King George Boulevard. Her body was found 17 hours later in the park.
Police were called Thursday after the discovery of a body in the 19500-block of Colebrook Road. Zielke’s body was found in the parking lot of the park.
The location where Zielke was found is very close to where Langley’s Marc Bontkes was murdered in March, 2009, during a wave of drug and gang-related violence in the Lower Mainland. It is nowhere near the other portion of Colebrook Road, near the Delta border, where several bodies were found earlier in the year. Most of those murders appear to have a connection to the drug trade.
Zielke’s murder is the 20th homicide of the year in Surrey.
Zielke has a criminal history and was scheduled to be in Surrey Provincial Court on Monday, charged with uttering threats and breaching probation and conditional sentencing orders.
In late July, a 28-year-old Surrey sex trade worker was picked up by a john in Surrey and held against her will, choked and raped after being driven into rural Langley.
A struggle ensued while the suspect was driving and his vehicle drove into a ditch. She managed to escape and run to a nearby house, whose residents called 911 for her.
The suspect was arrested moments later standing by his car in the ditch. Surrey resident James Kovach, 27, is facing several serious charges, including attempting to choke to overcome. He has been out on bail since his arrest. He makes his next court appearance on Nov. 15.
If you have any information about the murder or the furniture found by police, call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 to remain anonymous.