by Heather Colpitts & Roxanne Hooper
Officers with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team are in Willoughby looking into the death of a seven-year-old girl.
“This is going to come as a surprise to the community, it’s going to be very unsettling,” said Cpl. Frank Jang, the media spokesperson for IHIT.
Details being released to the public are limited at this point about how Aaliyah Rosa died, but Jang said the police want to hear from anyone with information about the child, particularly her movements on Sunday – in the hours leading up to her death.
“The complete story of Aaliyah Rosa – that is what we’re doing,” Jang said. “If you can contribute to that, help us develop that fullsome picture, I urge you to contact IHIT.”
About 9:30 p.m. Sunday, EHS and Langley RCMP received a call for assistance to one of the completed Parkhill condo buildings at the corner of 200th Street and 68th Avenue, next to the pedestrian overpass.
“When emergency services arrived, they found seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa deceased,” Jang said.
IHIT was called in based on what was found in the home.
“Our investigators have a firm understanding of what happened,” he said. Now their job is to collect evidence.
A 36-year-old woman, believed involved in the incident, is “under medical care,” he elaborated. Investigators expect to speak to her soon.
“I can confirm that this appears to be an incident involving persons known to each other, and that we believe this was an isolated incident,” Jang said, offering assurance that there is “no risk to public safety.”
Details about how the young girl died, or if anyone has been arrested, were not offered during Tuesday afternoon’s press conference on site.
“We believe this is the only scene we are looking at,” Jang said when asked about whether there were more than one location involved in this crime.
Officers went around to the different units to ask about Aaliyah, as well as comings and goings in the complex including specific vehicles.
“We need to know who she was with, where she was on Sunday,” Jang said. “All these little bits of information are important to us. We don’t overlook anything in a homicide investigation.”
Anyone with information can contact IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or use the anonymous CrimeStoppers tip line at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS). The investigators would also like to hear from people who know the family and the girl to help build up an accurate timeline.
One of the tradespeople on the site Sunday was anxious to see the child’s photo, in case he recalled her.
“It was just a hot day and we were working lots,” construction worker Mark Davies said, referring to Sunday. “There’s a lot of people playing around out here.”
He doesn’t think he saw anything that could help the police, but he wants to be sure.
That’s why I want to see the picture,” Davies said.
He suggested the police speak to the construction workers, as they are on site not only building the new phase beside where the child died, but also going through the finished building doing touch-ups.
Davies said it’s a “nice” five-storey building that’s partially filled.
On Facebook, at least one reader raised concern about the delay in making the death public. Jang explained why the delay.
“We knew that this wasn’t an incident that posed any danger to the public, but it took two days because we need to get the information straight,” Jang told the Langley Advance. “We need to make sure we provide accurate information to the public.”
— IHIT (@HomicideTeam) July 24, 2018