SURREY, B.C. — The family of a man who was stabbed to death while out for an early-morning smoke in a Vancouver suburb is appealing for any witnesses to come forward with information that could solve the crime.
Angela Prestbakmo says her 45-year-old brother Dephin Paul Prestbakmo was the victim of a heinous murder and she's asking the public to provide clues that could move the investigation forward.
Police say Prestbakmo was walking near a mall in Surrey shortly after 3 a.m. last Friday when he was killed in what they're calling an unprovoked attack.
Prestbakmo's sister says in a statement that her brother had an infectious laugh, a contagious smile and an outrageous sense of humour.
She says he was known for helping people repair cars or lending a hand when someone was moving.
Integrated Homicide Investigation Team Sgt. Frank Jang says a man arrested in a home not from the scene a few hours after the killing has been released as the investigation continues.
Prestbakmo says her brother had a few sayings and one of them was: "Hey, let's make it right and do the right thing."
"His sudden senseless death was devastating news for many friends and the local community," she says.
Jang says police are trying to determine if there is any connection between Prestbakmo's murder and an attack in south Surrey on the same night that seriously injured a man in his 60s.
"We know there are witnesses with important information about what happened to Paul who are reluctant to come forward," Jang says. "This is an active and ongoing investigation and we need every witness to come forward."