Joseph Holland arrested in Vancouver’s double homicide

VANCOUVER Police announced on Thursday that they had arrested a man for a double homicide in East Vancouver on Tuesday. He has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Joseph Holland, 43, of Vancouver, was arrested Wednesday night in Harrison Hot Springs by the RCMP’s Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, with assistance from Chilliwack and Agazzi RCMP, and the VPD’s Emergency Response Team.

The two homicide victims have been identified as 72-year-old Dennis Wragg and 68-year-old Paul Tonks. Both are from Vancouver.

Vancouver Police responded to the murders on Tuesday and subsequently identified a vehicle-of-interest. The vehicle was recovered in Chilliwack on Wednesday.

Chilliwack RCMP said that on Wednesday they received a report of a vehicle associated to a Vancouver Police Department investigation abandoned on a forest service road in Ryder Lake.

RCMP frontline officers supported by Chilliwack Serious Crime Unit (SCU), General Investigation Support Team (GIST), Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Section (IPDS) and Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team immediately cordoned off an area of Ryder Lake as police prepared their approach to the vehicle.

“The nature of the investigation determined the measured approach executed by our officers,” said RCMP Cpl. Mike Rail, spokesperson for the UFVRD. “The safety of the public and our officers remains the paramount priority.”

Police seized the vehicle without incident. As the investigation proceeded, evidence led officers to a campground in the Village of Harrison where Vancouver Police arrested one person.

“We thank everyone in the communities of Ryder Lake and Village of Harrison for your patience and cooperation during the police operations,” said Rail.

These two homicides are Vancouver’s sixth and seventh homicides of 2020. Holland is in custody.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact detectives from the VPD’s Major Crime Section at 604-717-2500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.