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Three dead Surrey adults believed to be family, IHIT says ‘no outstanding suspect’

Police ‘not ruling out any investigative theory’

Homicide forensic investigators and a coroner searched for clues inside a house behind yellow barricade tape Tuesday while friends and passers-by anxiously awaited outside for answers about how and why three people died in their tony Fraser Heights neighbourhood.

Paivi and Norm Mangleberg had been strolling down the street roughly an hour before police descended on 15636 112 Ave. shortly after noon Monday.

“We walked by here yesterday at about 11 o’clock, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary,” Paivi said, “and then like an hour later all hell broke loose.”

Neighbours said the people who lived there were a nice family who typically waved when people walked by.

Sgt. Timothy Pierotti, of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said police found the bodies of three adults inside the home, “whom are believed to be part of the same family.

“Preliminary evidence suggests there is no outstanding suspect, though we are not ruling out any investigative theory,” he said.

People gathered on the other side of the street said a physicist name Leo Li, a French tutor named Tiffany and their adult son, an English tutor, lived at the house.

Associated with the address is Dreamcasters Travel, and a phone number connected to Tiffany Zhen.

“They were very nice people,” Norm Mangleberg said. The couple had been students contemporary with the 1989 massacre at Tiananmen Square, he said. “That was enough for them to get out of China, eh.”

By press time Tuesday police had not released the names of the deceased. After press time, IHIT confirmed Wednesday the names of the deceased as Xiao-Yan “Tiffany” Zhen, age 56, Li Li, age 58, and Daniel Li, 24.

“Who else would it be?” Mangleberg wondered out loud. “I know he was a good neighbour to all the neighbours. Very friendly and he was pretty handy; wasn’t that a canoe he built, made? There’s a canoe in the back there that he made.”

“We can only speculate on what happened,” he offered. “It’s all hearsay, isn’t it?

“The neighbour said the kitchen window was drawn, the curtains in the kitchen were drawn, and they never were.”

A fellow named John told the Now-Leader he’d heard police were walking down the road with a flashlight Monday, “looking for something.”

A Fraser Heights resident said she knew of the couple through a mutual friend.

“So, so weird,” she said of the case. “I feel so terrible.”

To the police, she said, “At least they should tell us, a resident around here, don’t be worried, don’t be terrified. Even a little bit of a clue.”

On Monday, Cpl. Vanessa Munn of the Surrey RCMP stated in a press release that police “do not believe that there is any ongoing risk to public safety.”

Jean Zou said she worked with Li at Future Shop in 2020 and commuted with him.

“He’s a very good guy and worked very, very hard,” she said. “The wife’s name is Tiffany, both of them graduated in Peking University.” She said Li then attended UBC for a masters degree related to computers. “His major is physics, so he teaches physics.

“I never heard him complain about anything.”

“They’re a very, very good family and they’re very happy with their life and theire very good relationship between each other.

“They love each other.”


About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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