UPDATED: Manhunt underway for suspect in assault, arson

 

A manhunt was underway Wednesday for a Langley man who allegedly attacked his family and burned down their home.

Police dubbed the incident a case of attempted murder.

A woman and two children survived the early morning attack, thought to be committed by the woman’s estranged husband.

Just after 1 a.m., a man broke into the home in the 19600 block of Wakefield Drive and started a fire, said Cpl. Holly Marks, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.

The man then entered the wife’s bedroom and attacked her with a weapon, striking her in the head.

The victim’s daughter tried to intervene and was hit in the chest Marks said. 

Police are still trying to determine exactly what weapon was used in the attack.

The woman, her daughter and son were able to escape the home before the fire fully consumed it.

All three victims were taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. Marks said the woman was alert and awake after the assault. Police are not saying at which hospital the victims are being treated.

Police were initially uncertain if the attacker had been killed in the three-alarm blaze that seriously damaged the Langley Meadows home. 

A preliminary search by the Langley Township Fire Department did not turn up a body, but it was not until later in the morning, once the ruins had cooled, that a full search could be done safely. The man apparently escaped the fire he set.

The victim’s husband was under a no-contact order and the two had been separated, Marks said.

Police are now looking for Andre Harvey Richard, 44, with an arrest warrant for breaching a condition of no contact with his estranged wife.

Richard is 5’8”, 201 lbs with a heavy build, very short dark hair, and possibly facial hair.

Police are now looking for a grey Saturn Relay minivan, license plate 804 HWC.

Anyone who sees the car or knows the location of Richard is advised not to approach him, Marks cautioned. They should call 911 or the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200. To remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

A spokesperson for Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter said she believed this attack could have been prevented by more forceful action by police.

“There are some cases where a no contact order is not enough,” said Hilla Kerner.

Police have said there were previous incidents of domestic violence, but Kerner didn’t know if the woman had been offered transitional housing.

Langley has its own transitional housing shelter for women and children, through the Ishtar Transition Housing Society. There are also a number of other such facilities, usually at confidential locations, across Metro Vancouver.

“More often than not, transition houses in the Lower Mainland are full,” said Kerner. Calls to groups like Vancouver Rape Relief will be answered, Kerner said, and the society will find somewhere safe for any caller by the end of the day.

Sometimes women choose to go to a shelter in another community to be farther away from their domestic abuser, Kerner said.

For local assistance, women can call 24 hours a day to the Ishtar Transition House at 604-530-9442 or the Libra Transition House at 604-857-5797.

Vancouver Rape Relief has a similar confidential line at 604-872-8212.

VictimLink BC is a toll free, confidential and multi-lingual number across the province, which provides immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence. It can be reached at 1-800-563-8080 or for TTY, at 604-875-0885, or through email at VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Stars offer four tickets to tonight’s Langley concert to $500 donors

From country music celebrities to NHL alumni, many famous faces hit the links at Redwoods today.

Langley animals feeling effects of smoky skies

Animal shelters are trying to keep their critters healthy through the smoggy days.

Medevac called to South Surrey business

‘Serious workplace incident’ reported to WorkSafeBC

Langley City in need of some Terry Fox Run helpers

People can help out on run day or be involved in preparations before then.

VIDEO: Mustang Roundup in Langley attracts car lovers from all over

A car show dedicated entirely to one model of Ford drew admirers and collectors to George Preston Recreation Centre.

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Date rapist left victims with ‘long-lasting, emotional scars,’ judge says

Klifford Kenyon of Abbotsford sentenced to additional two years in prison

Fire in barn that housed therapy horses has been confirmed an arson

Abbotsford Police Department is now investigating and seeks witnesses

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Most Read