SURREY, B.C. – The body count in British Columbia’s fastest growing city is growing again, after Surrey police discovered two more bodies along a secluded rural road known for harbouring shady criminal activity.
Surrey has had eight murders since the beginning of 2013 — more than double the rate of neighbouring big city Vancouver.
Four of those bodies have turned up at the same isolated site on Colebrook Road in the past six weeks — a statistic that has Mayor Dianne Watts “very concerned.”
“It’s a magnet for people who want to conduct criminal activity,” she said.
Watts said she’ll be meeting with residents and police to determine what can be done to increase security in the area.
“It’s been a problem area,” Watts said. “Whether it’s kids congregating down there and having a party, or somebody dumping something … as a city we’re looking at (installing) lighting and cameras in that area.”
The RCMP has increased its police presence in the past few weeks to prevent the area from becoming a hot spot for body disposal, Watts says, which is perhaps why cops were so quick to find the latest bodies.
The male and female victims were discovered by an officer on “proactive” patrol around 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to a news release from the RCMP.
The bodies have not been identified, said Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokeswoman, Jennifer Pound.
It’s too early to speculate on trends, she said, or a possible connection with gang and criminal activity.
“I understand the concern,” Pound said. “There have been a number of bodies located in the area. But to speculate on what exactly that means, or what it’s linked to, we’re going to have to let the investigation run its course.”
Investigators are holding back information about the victims’ age, race, and cause of death.
Pound said investigators haven’t determined if the pair knew each other, and that further testing was required to know whether the victims were killed at the scene, or elsewhere.
The bodies of two men, 26-year-old Jaskaran Singh Sandhu and 29-year-old Amritpal Saran, were dumped along the same dark, isolated road in separate incidents on Jan. 29 and Feb. 25.
Investigators have not linked the cases.
Pound said both men were known to police but only Sandhu had confirmed gang affiliations.
In January, a series of high-profile murders prompted the RCMP chief superintendent in Surrey to issue a formal statement about the city’s spate of violent crime.
Bill Fordy said law-abiding citizens need not worry because victims targeted were those linked to the criminal underworld.
“If you involve yourself in this level of criminal activity, the likelihood of you ending up dead in a ditch, or in jail, is very high,” Fordy said. “I would say it is inevitable.”