Police investigating the murders of two South Surrey children – with perpetrators of one still at-large – were mum on both files this week.
“There are no updates to provide in these two investigations,” Staff Sgt. Jennifer Pound, spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said by email Wednesday. “IHIT is concentrating our efforts on the (Dario Bartoli) homicide and locating the individual(s) responsible.”
IHIT took charge of the files associated with Bartoli, 15, and eight-year-old Teagan Batstone within hours of each child’s death last week.
Bartoli died in hospital last Saturday from injuries suffered in what police suggest may have been an “alcohol-fuelled” altercation early that morning in or near Bakerview Park.
Batstone, 8, was found dead in the trunk of a car in the 13900-block of 35A Avenue on Dec. 10. Her mother, Lisa Deanne Batstone, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the youngster’s death, and is scheduled to make her second appearance in Surrey Provincial Court this morning.
Autopsies were to be done on both victims to determine the cause of death, and while Pound confirmed the exam has been complete for Teagan Batstone, she said the results will not be released.
She also confirmed that a second teen who was with Bartoli during Saturday’s attack was not injured.
She directed questions with regard to community safety to Surrey RCMP.
Cpl. Bert Paquet confirmed police have increased patrols in the area where the attack occurred, and continue to encourage residents to report any suspicious activities or people.
Sgt. Dale Carr added that police on patrol “consistently check on youth in (Bakerview) park after hours.”
Carr described the two homicides as “completely isolated incidents and circumstances.”
Meanwhile, residents of the Semiahmoo Peninsula will gather tonight at White Rock Baptist Church to remember Teagan Batstone. She and her mom had been attending the 1657 140 St. church for the past six years.
Pastor Fay Puddicombe told Peace Arch News that the evening – with room for about 600 attendees – is to include a slideshow, shared memories and music. Some of Teagan’s toys are to also be on display.
“The whole idea of the service is to honour Teagan and to celebrate her life, and to mourn her passing,” Puddicombe said. “Tonight is all about Teagan.”
A public service for Bartoli is to take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Peace Portal Alliance Church, 15128 27B Ave. Church officials said they have room for 1,200 people, and are expecting a large turnout.