As family and friends of South Surrey teen Dario Bartoli prepare to mark the one-year anniversary of his violent death, police investigating the killing say they still believe someone out there has information that could help them solve the case.
“Without the public, we can’t move forward at this time,” Sgt. Stephanie Ashton, spokesperson for the Integratrated Homicide Investigation Team, told Peace Arch News Tuesday. “We know there’s people who haven’t talked to us.”
Bartoli, 15, died in Peace Arch Hospital just after 10 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2014, from injuries suffered just hours before, when he was attacked while walking with a friend near Bakerview Park, located at 18 Avenue and 154 Street.
Police were alerted to a disturbance just before 3 a.m., after Bartoli and a 14-year-old boy – who police said was not injured – fled to a home in the 15600-block of 18 Avenue.
One year later, information regarding the incident – including details of what happened, or if police have any suspects – has yet to be shared, and Ashton acknowledged that void may be troubling to the public.
At the same time, police are confident there are witnesses who were in the area of the park late Dec. 12 and early Dec. 13 who could shed some light on what happened, but have yet to come forward.
“It is frustrating,” she said. “What I would say is for every person out there… who hasn’t tried to contact police – imagine how the family would feel right now.”
As quiet as the investigation has been, Bartoli’s mom, June Iida, told PAN she understands the importance of police keeping a tight lid on it.
“I know as much as you know, which is nothing. And it’s meant to be that way,” Iida said Tuesday. “I know what their job is, and they know what their job is, and me nagging isn’t going to bring anything to the surface.”
Iida said that even in cases where suspects are identified early on, investigations “take a long time.”
“An arrest is one thing, but a conviction is what they want,” she said. “And I’m very confident in the lead investigator.”
Ashton emphasized it is not a case of investigators being “stuck” without leads to pursue. The file is a priority, she said.
“Definitely, right now, they have some investigative theories. Definitely, it’s active,” she said. “It’s not like they don’t have anything. They don’t have that thing they need to move things forward. They need that nugget… that one thing that can put this thing over the edge.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A tribute to Dario – to be held Sunday at the South Surrey Skate Park – will be posted on the Dario Bartoli Compassion Movement Facebook page.