A middle-aged man’s body was discovered by a passerby on a popular trail in Colony Farm Regional Park in Coquitlam on Sunday.
Coquitlam RCMP were initially called to the scene but have since turned the case over to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).
The victim, 44-year-old Clifford Arthur Devitt, was a transient person who mostly frequented Maple Ridge, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, said IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Bari Emam.
When asked if Devitt was known to police, Emam said they have some files on him; however, “I don’t know the extent of [the information in the files],” added Emam.
Members of the RCMP’s Lower Mainland Integrated Forensic Identification Service (IFIS) and Integrated Tactical Troop (ITT) team were still combing the vast scene for evidence Tuesday afternoon.
Emam could not confirm the exact location where the body was found but said it was near a dyke and that the adjacent waterway was searched.
IHIT has also canvassed the Kwikwetlem First Nation and Forensic Psychiatric Hospital for information, given their close proximity to the crime scene. “There is no indication that the discovery of the body has anything to do with the location,” said Emam.
And while he could not reveal the nature of the dead man’s injuries, Emam said they were not consistent with those of a gang-related murder. “Obvious signs of a gang hit are usually visible when we come up to a crime scene,” added Emam.
A bike, which investigators believe belongs to Devitt, was found by his body. The RCMP have released a photo of Devitt and the bike in the hopes of generating tips from the public.
IHIT is asking anyone who was in the area adjacent to the dyke system or along the trail in the park that may have witnessed anything suspicious to contact the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at email@example.com.
Anonymous tips can also be sent to CrimeStoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or left through its website at Solvecrime.ca.