A manhunt is underway two days after an elderly couple were found murdered in their home in a rural enclave close to the Abbotsford-Mission Highway.
On Wednesday, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team confirmed the deaths were homicides and released the names of the victims in hopes it would prompt possible witnesses to come forward.
“It’s too early right now to say whether it’s targeted or random. We’re still putting it together,” said IHIT Spokesman Sgt. David Lee.
He said Arnold De Jong, 77, and wife, Joanne De Jong, 76, were found dead in their home in the 33600-block Arcadian Way just before 10:30 am on Monday.
Officers with the Abbotsford Police Department considered the deaths suspicious and IHIT was called in.
“The community is in shock,” Lee said. “We have our full resources there and are working with Abbotsford police very closely.”
Neighbors were tight-lipped on Wednesday, not commenting beyond saying they were a lovely couple that had lived in the home for many years.
Lee said police do not think the case was a murder-suicide and that they are searching for a suspect, though they do not know the identity of a suspect.
He said a family member, who does not live at the house, called police. The deceased were in different parts of the residence.
Police did not provide information on the cause of the death.
Arnold De Jong was a long-distance trucker whose collector truck — a Vancouver-built 1965 Hayes Clipper 100 — was featured in a Postmedia story in 2019.
Bernd Dessau, who was also featured in the article, said De Jong was very well known and highly respected in the trucking community in BC and Alberta.
“He is a Christian fellow and wouldn’t harm a fly. And his, wife too,” Dessau said. “They are both very beautiful people.”
Dessau said De Jong was retired and he had last visited the couple last month.
Police are in the process of collecting evidence and constructing a timeline. They hope to identify people who knew the couple or obtain dashcam footage of drivers who were on the quiet rural road on May 8 and 9.
“We are asking anyone with information about Arnold and Joanne to call IHIT,” said Lee. “Their information may be key.”
Anyone with information can call IHIT’s tip line at 1-877-551-4448 (IHIT) or by email at email@example.com.
With files from David Carrigg
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