RCMP identified 24-year-old Amin Vinepal of Delta as the victim (inset) after a body was found on 12 Avenue in South Surrey on April 26. (File photos)

Court sides with widow over father for remains of South Surrey homicide victim

Amin Vinepal’s father had disputed claim his son was Muslim

The common-law spouse of a man found dead on a South Surrey street late last month has won the right to decide how his remains will be dealt with – a quest that was opposed by his biological father.

Fariya Ali received the judgment concerning Amin Vinepal in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Wednesday, following a hearing the week before.

Officials with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team had identified the 24-year-old Vinepal on April 27 as the man who had been found dead just after 3:30 p.m. the previous afternoon, in the 17800-block of 12 Avenue.

That same afternoon, police were alerted to a vehicle burning in the 18700-block of 28 Avenue, and have said investigators believe the two incidents may be related.

According to Ali’s petition for control of Vinepal’s remains, the pair met in 2004, became romantically involved in 2011 and began living together “in or around 2014.”

They became engaged in April.

Vinepal “was of Muslim faith, and verbally expressed his intentions regarding his funeral and burial to his spouse, mother, step-father and friends,” the petition states.

Vinepal’s father, Iqbal Singh Vinepal, disputed Ali’s right to control of the remains. In an affidavit, he swore the couple had not been together for 18 months and that his son had followed the Sikh religion.

He noted his son had borrowed $1,000 from him on the day of his death.

IHIT officials have not disclosed further details surrounding the investigation since shortly after Vinepal’s body was found. At that time, police described the death as targeted and linked to other gang violence in the Lower Mainland, and appealed for social-media “tipsters” who had reported hearing gunshots in the area to come forward.

In Surrey Provincial Court on May 15, lawyers appearing to abate proceedings that had been scheduled against Vinepal in connection with a Feb. 11 incident in Delta, told the court the Delta resident was a “shooting victim.”

However, IHIT spokesman Cpl. Frank Jang told Peace Arch News Thursday that police “haven’t confirmed cause of death on this file.”



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

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