Father believes killer of Lindsay Buziak still in Victoria area

Saanich police insist the murder of 24-year-old real estate agent Lindsay Buziak is not at risk of becoming a cold case.

"We're not at that brick wall yet," said Saanich police spokeswoman Sgt. Julie Fast. "We believe there is more information out there."

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Saanich police have four investigators following up active leads, she said, but Buziak's father, Jeff Buziak, is convinced that's not enough.

He asked why the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit, a specialized team of 18 major-crime investigators, hasn't been called in to help Saanich police solve the murder of his daughter, who was killed in an empty house on Feb. 2, 2008.

"The police need to bring in all the help they can," Jeff Buziak said. "This case is not moving forward. If it continues like it is right now, it's not going to be solved."

He says he believes his daughter's killer is still in the Victoria area.

Fast could not say whether the department would ask for help from the major crime unit, but said an internal audit and the Office of Investigative Standards and Practices found the department is meeting the standards required for major cases.

Fast said it's standard practice to ask an outside agency to review a major investigation, which gives the department a chance to improve investigative practices.

"We don't wait for something to become a cold case before sparking a review," Fast said.

Investigators have identified a number of people of interest and interviewed hundreds.

Last year, police released a sketch of a Caucasian woman with shoulder-length blond hair and a general description of a male suspect: Caucasian, six feet tall with dark hair. Yesterday police had a mannequin with a distinctive pink, black and white shift dress they believe the woman was wearing.

They said the man might have been wearing a light- to medium-coloured jacket. Police have not said whether the two people were seen near the home where Buziak was killed. Nor have they said whether a murder weapon was found or if they were able to obtain the suspect's DNA evidence from the scene.

Police are unable to reveal details of the investigation for the protection of the public and to avoid jeopardizing the investigation, Fast said.

In total, investigators have followed up on 800 leads, 130 of them in the last year since Saanich police re-opened their tip line.

A reenactment of the murder, first aired on CHEK Dec. 2, 2009, has resulted in eight tips. Police intend to widely circulate it on the Island and Lower Mainland.

Dateline NBC is also planning a one-hour show about the murder, which Jeff Buziak says could be crucial to sending a message to millions of people about his daughter's unsolved murder.

Officers have investigated leads that took them to the Lower Mainland, Calgary and Washington state.

Police said the killers were planning the murder in late 2007, which was when a cellphone used exclusively for the crime was purchased in Vancouver. The phone was activated in January 2008 and travelled from the Vancouver area to Greater Victoria sometime in the 24 hours before Buziak's murder. The phone was used Feb. 2, 2008, when Buziak received a phone call from a woman with a foreign accent asking her to show the house at 5:30 p.m. -- even though Buziak wasn't the listing agent.

Then, a man called her to say he'd meet her alone. That made her nervous, so she asked her boyfriend, Jason Zailo, to check on her later. Zailo called Buziak just before he arrived at the house. She didn't answer.

When he and a friend arrived at the home around 6:15 p.m., the door was locked but he could see shoes inside the foyer. He entered through another door and found her bloodied body in a bedroom.

Fast would not say if police have found the cellphone, which was deactivated shortly after the murder. The phone was registered to a Paulo Rodriquez, which investigators believe is a fake name. The subscriber's name was associated with an address in Vancouver, but the address has no association with any suspects, Fast said.

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