IHIT addresses request to identify victims: Letter to the Editor

Surrey, Integrated Homicide Investigation Team

2024-01-04 10:06 PST

File # 2023-171

December 29, 2023

To: The Surrey-Now Leader (Editor)
The Peach Arch News (Editor)

Re: Article Vigil mourners want police to shed light on Surrey woman’s death – December 29, 2023

My name is Sergeant Timothy Pierotti and I am the Media Relations Officer for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT). I am writing in response to the article by Tom Zytaruk, published on December 29, 2023, entitled Vigil mourners want police to shed light on Surrey woman’s death.

In the article, Mr. Zytaruk refers to a press release issued by Hilla Kerner, a representative of the Vancouver Rape Relief and Woman’s shelter expressing concern that police were not releasing names of certain victims.

I would like to reassure your readers that IHIT treats cases of alleged domestic violence seriously and are aware of their impact on families and communities. We experience this kind of tragedy firsthand.

Mr. Zytaruk, following up on the Vancouver Rape Relief and Woman’s Shelter’s press release contacted me today at 10:22 a.m. I responded to Mr. Zytaruk’s request for an update at 12:37 p.m. IHIT, as with all police agencies in Canada, is bound by provincial and federal privacy law, which protects the privacy of victims, including that of homicide. This legislation does not give us the legal authority to release the name of victims, unless it is necessary to further an investigation, a measure which must be provable in court.

IHIT can confirm that the referenced homicide, which occurred in a Surrey apartment on February 5, 2023, has been concluded, as a result of the death of the suspect. The family of the victim was made aware of the status of the investigation and out of respect for their privacy and privacy laws, no further public announcements were provided. As this investigation is concluded, there is no investigational necessity to release the name of the victim at this time.

Though the suspect died shortly after the homicide, a thorough investigation was completed in partnership with the BC Coroners Service and the Surrey RCMP. As a result of the death of the suspect, IHIT can confirm that no charges were recommended.

Thank you for your time. If you require any further clarification please feel free to email me directly at ediv_ihit_media@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Released by

Sgt. Timothy Pierotti

Media Relations Officer
Integrated Homicide Investigation Team
14200 Green Timbers Way, Surrey, BC V3T 6T3
Office: 778-290-5202

Email: ediv_ihit_media@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Website: homicideteam.ca

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