Death at Saanich home a homicide, police say; construction worker heard: 'Help me'

Vancouver Island’s major crime unit is investigating the death of a man at a Saanich home as a homicide.

The name of the victim has not been released. Saanich police said investigators are working to confirm his identity and contact the family.

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Officers responded to a 911 call for help at a residence on Battleford Avenue about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. When they arrived, they found a deceased male. Battleford Avenue runs parallel to the Trans-Canada Highway not far from Uptown.

Police believe the incident is isolated and the dead man and killer knew each other.

Phlower Longia said he was working on a construction project about 10 or 10:30 a.m. Wednesday with two other people at a home a few doors down when they heard a voice that wasn’t recognizable as female or male.

The person said “Help me, help me, please” four or five times, he said.

A few minutes later, he heard: “Please don’t, please don’t” a couple of times.

Longia said he was concentrating on his work and didn’t realize anything was wrong at first, but when police arrived and taped off the house “we knew something was serious.”

As the investigation continued, officers in white coveralls could be seen and a stretcher was taken inside, Longia said.

Randy Montgomery, who lives on nearby Seaton Street, said he frequently walks his dogs in the area and was sad to hear about the incident.

“What a horrible thing,” he said. “This is a quiet neighbourhood, very quiet.”

Investigators are seeking anyone with information about the death. Call the major crime unit’s information line at 250-380-6211.

The Saanich case is the latest in a string of homicide investigations on the Island over the past few weeks.

On Aug. 31, Victoria police ­officers were called to a home on Carberry Gardens around 5 a.m. and found a man inside with life-threatening injuries. ­Officers and paramedics provided first aid, but the man died of his ­injuries. No arrests have been made, but VicPD said there’s no ­indication there’s a risk to the public.

Also on Aug. 31, in Bowser, northwest of Qualicum Beach, Luciano Emilio Mariani was charged with the second-degree murder of Caroline Bernard, with whom he had had a relationship.

Meanwhile, in Port Alberni, Samantha Jesselynn ­Dittmer was arrested Aug. 29, and charged Sept. 2 with manslaughter in the shooting death of her son Jesse McPhee.

Nanaimo RCMP are also investigating a homicide discovered during a welfare check on a man in mid-August.

Officers went to a residence about 3 p.m. on Aug. 12 after receiving information from the Kelowna RCMP. The body of 30-year-old Ryan Mosher was found inside. Mosher had recently moved to Nanaimo from Kelowna.

jbell@timescolonist.com

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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