UPDATE: IHIT tweeted shortly before noon that the deaths are “believed not random & public safety not a concern.”
Police investigating a pair of suspicious deaths in South Surrey’s North Grandview Heights neighbourhood confirmed Friday morning that they have yet to make contact with family members of the deceased.
Cpl. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said that will be a priority once the individuals – found in a home in the 17400-block of 28B Avenue Thursday afternoon – are identified.
“Our investigators are still working to determine the identity,” Jang told Peace Arch News.
IHIT was called to the scene by Surrrey RCMP, after a passerby reported a fire at a white, colonial-style, two-storey home just before 2 p.m.
“When the Surrey RCMP officers arrived to that scene, (two individuals inside) were found dead,” Jang said. “They looked through the scene, they assessed the bodies and they determined there was something suspicious going on.”
Friday morning, yellow police tape continued to surround 17490 28B Ave., and marked police vehicles could be seen outside the property.
Jang said police were at the home overnight, and would remain as long as necessary. Fire investigators were to also attend.
“They’re going to go through that scene meticulously.”
Jang said IHIT is working with Surrey RCMP’s serious crimes unit, and that the BC Coroners Service is also involved.
He said it is too early to say if the deceased individuals were dead prior to the fire, or if they died as a result of the blaze.
BCCS spokesperson Andy Watson confirmed “we are in the early stages of an investigation,” and cause of death would not be released until that investigation is complete.
Jang said it’s not yet clear if the victims were residents of the home.
While Jang said earlier Friday that it was unclear if the general public is at risk – “we’re going to have to know who these people were,” he said – a tweet from IHIT shortly before noon Friday states the deaths are “believed not random & public safety not a concern.”
Work continues for investigators today in south Surrey. No positive ID of victims yet. Believed not random & public safety not a concern.
— IHIT (@HomicideTeam) January 26, 2018
“Whenever a homicide takes place, we ask the community – be vigilant, be aware of their surroundings,” Jang said in the earlier interview.
“This one, it’s gotten a lot of attention since yesterday. There’s a lot of folks in the community that have a lot of questions. If there is any concern for public safety, I will notify the media and community immediately.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448.