The body of a man was found on a rural Abbotsford property early Friday morning (Feb. 3) after police responded to reports of shots being fired during a home invasion of a drug lab.
Sgt. Paul Walker, media relations officer with the Abbotsford Police Department (APD), said police were called just after 4 a.m. to a home at 7001 Nicholson Ave., located off the farthest north end of Mt. Lehman Road.
He said police found a deceased man on site and, during a search of the home, located a drug lab.
Two suspects were identified at the scene and taken into custody, according to a Feb. 4th press release from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), which has taken over the case.
“At this time, investigators are working to identify the male victim, who is not believed to be associated to the residence. This is believed to be an isolated incident associated to illegal drug trade,” the press release stated.
Walker would not say whether the man’s body was found inside or outside the residence. He said the incident is targeted, and the public is not at risk.
Walker said the “complex investigation” will involve two teams – one to investigate the homicide and the other to examine and dismantle the drug lab.
IHIT is working in partnership with the APD, BC Coroners Service, the Integrated Forensic Identification Section and the BC RCMP Clandestine Lab Enforcement and Response unit.
Walker said police are still trying to determine how many people were involved in both the drug operation and the homicide, their identities, the identity of the victim, and the history of the residence, including whether those involved owned the home or rented it.
A property title search indicates that the home and property are owned by a Delta property developer.
The residence is located down a long private road, and several outbuildings are located on the property.
IHIT deployed to Abbotsford. More information when it becomes available. pic.twitter.com/cgM4KOvl4a— IHIT (@HomicideTeam) February 3, 2023
Drug labs tend to be located in these types of rural locations, where the activities cannot easily be seen by neighbours and passersby.
In January 2022, a drug “super lab” was discovered and dismantled on Lefeuvre Road, just north of Starr Road in Abbotsford.
Police announced a year later, that three men had been charged in relation to the operation, but they are still at large.
Anyone with information about the homicide on Nicholson Avenue or who has dashcam or CCTV footage from the area is asked to call the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team infoline at 1-877-551-4448 or email email@example.com.