Vehicle-collision call turns into homicide probe after body found in SUV

A routine call to a collision on Humpback Road suddenly turned sinister Monday night when police discovered the body of a man inside a sports utility vehicle.

West Shore RCMP received a report of a single-vehicle collision at 11:30 p.m. in the 3100-block of Humpback Road.

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“However, when they got there, they definitely noticed there was much more suspicious activity taking place here and so this isn’t just a simple collision,” said West Shore RCMP spokeswoman Const. Nancy Saggar.

“Once we were able to examine the scene further, we were able to determine there was evidence leading us to believe this was a homicide.”

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit is leading the murder investigation, assisted by West Shore RCMP.

Police do not believe the community is at risk, said Saggar.

“The evidence we have gathered, thus far, is leading us to believe this is a targeted crime, that this victim is the intended victim.”

Police are not releasing the name of the victim, and are still in the process of notifying his next-of-kin.

Saggar said she couldn’t comment on whether the victim was known to police or whether investigators had any suspects.

Both West Shore and Major Crime Unit officers are at the scene gathering evidence, said Saggar.

Because of the collision, traffic analysts as well as forensic identification officers are working together on the case, she said. “The plan is to process the scene as much as possible.”

On Tuesday, police canvassed the rural neighbourhood. They are hoping to talk to anyone who was in the area between 9 p.m. and midnight. Police are also asking area residents to review their home-security video surveillance or dash cameras in case suspicious activity has been captured.

Saggar said she was not able to comment on whether the victim was the driver or the passenger in the vehicle, or what the vehicle collided with.

Asked if the crime was gang-related, Saggar responded that is still under investigation.

Saggar said she is hoping to release more details within a week.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit information line at 250-380-6211.

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