A Tsawwassen man murdered in Langley is being remembered for his infectious smile and willingness to help others this week as family, friends and the community try to come to grips with a life cut tragically short.
On Monday, RCMP homicide investigators announced the man found dead in a home on a rural Langley property was 21-year-old Taylor Johnson.
He is the son of Paul Johnson, lead pastor at South Delta Baptist Church.
The pastor and his family moved to Tsawwassen in 2007, joining the church after serving as a teaching pastor at Christ Community Church in Tucson, Arizona.
Paul Johnson said his son was "especially known for his gentle spirit" and was well liked by his peers at school and in the workplace. He described his son as a typical young adult "working odd jobs to make ends meet."
One of six siblings, Taylor Johnson graduated from South Delta Secondary and was enrolled in the Advanced Music Production (AMP) program at the Nimbus School of Recording Arts in Vancouver. He was set to graduate this month and was excited about his impending career, said his dad.
In a posting on the school's website, Taylor Johnson is remembered as a "bright, funny and dedicated student who loved making beats and always had an infectious smile. He was an open and incredibly compassionate soul always willing and ready to help someone out."
An upcoming music showcase at the school will serve as an opportunity to celebrate his life and love of music. His fellow AMP students are working on developing a musical tribute that will be part of the event and a studio at the school will feature a permanent tribute.
"It makes me proud of him," Paul Johnson said of the outpouring of tributes for his son.
In addition to his love of music, Taylor Johnson also had a love of sports. He played rugby for SDSS, football at his high school in Tucson and baseball in Tsawwassen.
The 21-year-old was found dead Feb. 26 in a home in the 2000-block of 200th Street.
According to Sgt. Jennifer Pound, spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, Johnson was a caretaker for the reportedly vacant property where he was found dead.
He was found at the house after Langley RCMP received a call asking officers to check on his wellbeing. Officers discovered Johnson's body, as well as a marijuana grow-op, on the property.
He did not have a criminal record, Pound said in a press release.
An autopsy has been performed but police have not yet released the cause of death.
Paul Johnson said the family has received much support from the community. He said the family has been visited by Delta police Chief Jim Cessford as well as local victim services workers.
He said that while the family has received no information about the circumstances that led to the murder, he is thankful for the work being done by RCMP detectives and is at peace with the fact those responsible for his son's death will one day be brought to justice.
A memorial for Taylor Johnson is scheduled for Sunday at South Delta Baptist at 3 p.m.