THE Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is requesting public assistance to further its investigation into the death of 23-year-old Randy Joseph Chan of Coquitlam whose remains have now been identified in a vehicle fire that originated in Burnaby.
On July 22, around 11:30 p.m., the Burnaby RCMP responded to a report of a vehicle fire in the 7500-block of Meadow Avenue. The vehicle sustained such significant damage that police were unable to immediately complete a thorough examination. The vehicle was taken to a tow yard in Burnaby, to allow the hazardous gases associated with a recently burned vehicle time to dissipate prior to further inspection.
The following morning, an arson investigator from Burnaby RCMP’s Investigative Service Team examined the vehicle and made a request to have an ICBC investigator make an independent examination. On July 29, human remains were discovered inside the vehicle by the ICBC
investigator. Burnaby RCMP immediately secured the scene and engaged IHIT and the BC Coroners Service.
“Depending on the extent of the fire damage, particularly in car, fires where accelerants such as gas are present, it is not always immediately evident that there are human remains present,” said Superintendent Graham de la Gorgendiere, Assistant Officer-in-Charge of the Burnaby RCMP Detachment. “The Burnaby RCMP will conduct a review of the actions taken by the arson investigator and determine whether any practices or procedures may be improved upon.”
IHIT has now assumed conduct of the Randy Chan missing person investigation and said it is releasing Chan’s name in order to further its investigation.
“IHIT investigators are pushing ahead with their investigation and invite anyone who may have information in the hours leading up to Mr. Chan’s disappearance to call IHIT,” said IHIT Constable Harrison Mohr.
The Burnaby RCMP continues to support IHIT in its investigation.
On July 27, Coquitlam RCMP had asked for the public’s help in the “suspicious disappearance” of Chan who was last seen on July 21 and was reported missing to police on July 24.
“Chan has a significant police history and we understand that some people in his circle may be reluctant to talk to police, but we know there are people with inside information,” said Cpl. Michael McLaughlin.
Chan was described as:
* A 23-year-old Asian man
* About 5’8 tall (173 cm) and 200 lbs (90 kg) with a heavy build
* With short black hair and brown eyes
* Full sleeve tattoos on both arms and his left leg, with a tattoo of Buddha on his chest and Chan on his back.
Coquitlam RCMP said that the exact time and location of his disappearance were not yet clear.
“Police know that some people are trying to solve Chan’s disappearance on their own,” McLaughlin said on Monday. “But you could be adding to a cycle of violence. Please call police and let us handle it.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).