THE Integrated Homicide Investigation Team’s Cold Case Unit has arrested and charged five individuals over the weekend in connection to two separate Surrey investigations: the 2006 homicide of David Mitchell and the 2009 homicide of James Erickson.
On October 25, 2006, David Mitchell, 25, was severely assaulted in a residence in the 11000 block of Ravine Road in Surrey. The injuries he sustained were life threatening and he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead two days later.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team assumed conduct two days later and now, eight years later, four people have been arrested and are currently in custody facing charges.
Charged with second degree murder is Khalid Damien Arnaout, 35.
Three other males have also been charged each with manslaughter and accessory after the fact to murder: Charles Vincent Chambers, 32, Michael Ludwig Yost, 34, and Kevin Alexander Pigott, 32.
“We often say that homicide investigations are lengthy by nature. These two investigations show that many years after the fact, justice is still sought and those who choose to engage in this horrific crime will be held accountable,” said Staff Sergeant Jennifer Pound.
This investigation was resource heavy and IHIT received great support from a number of agencies including Surrey RCMP and their support units, E-Division support units, LMD Detachments, Police Dog Service and Emergency Response Team.
The Mitchell family said in a statement: “David was a bright, compassionate, and determined young man with an enormous heart. He brought us laughter and joy with his unyielding sense of humour and generosity of spirit. He was a gifted writer and creative soul.
“Yet, as is all too common in families today, David also suffered from drug addiction. Despite the hardships this would bring, Dave’s love for his family would never waiver; nor would our love for him.
“Dave was taken from us with so much of his light left in him. We had always believed that he would overcome his addiction and would have gone on to help others, a desire that he often expressed to those closest to him. Unfortunately, we will never know what could have been.
“After enduring eight painful years without answers, we are overjoyed that there is now an opportunity for David to receive the justice he so deserves. As a family, we can finally look ahead to closure and healing.
“It is with our heartfelt gratitude that we thank the RCMP Cold Case/IHIT teams, and those individuals who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring this case to fruition.
“Without the commitment and determination of the RCMP to seek justice on David’s behalf, the individuals responsible would not be in custody today.
“We are forever grateful.”
ON February 2, 2009, Surrey RCMP responded to a complaint of shots fired from the second floor of an apartment building located in the 13300 block of 105A Avenue.
Upon entering the apartment a male, later identified as 25 year old James Ward Erickson, was located dead. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team assumed conduct of this investigation in the initial stages and now, five years later, an arrest has been made.
Charged with first degree murder is David Clifford Sadler, 28.
IHIT’s Cold Case Team was formulated in 2012. Since its inception the team has secured charges in relation to six different investigations. The resources required for the extensive review that these investigations require is great, but the Cold Case Team has once again sought justice for those who have died unfairly.
James Erickson’s mother, Patti, said in a statement: “Not so long ago … in 1983 our Sweet Baby James arrived, a namesake for his Papa whom he loved so much.
“Chad awaited his “Little Bruzzer” as he called him. Well, our blonde baby with big cheeks and dimples filled our lives with his humour and sweet delivery of his love. Chad was his best friend and they were inseparable.
“Our family grew with the blessing of James’ sister Victoria. He used the kid name Eddy for her. No idea where that came from but this has become a very endearing name since his passing. A pain we will endure forever and ever with no hope of holding our Sweet James.
“God gained an angel and we stay in grief with a very large piece of our hearts gone forever.”