Charges have been laid against 32-year-old Sarbjit Bains of Surrey in connection to three slayings, including the deaths of two New Westminster escorts in August.
Forty-five-year-old Jill Lyons and 48-year-old Karen Nabors were found dead in separate units of the same New Westminster apartment complex, in the 200 block of 11th Street, just under two weeks apart. The two women were friends — both of them mothers and both working as online escorts. Bains is charged with first-degree murder in connection with their deaths.
Bains was also charged Monday with second-degree murder and offering an indignity to a human body relating to the death of 29-year-old Delta resident Amritpal Saran.
Saran's badly burned body was found on Colebrook Road in Surrey last February. Another woman, 36-year-old Evelina Urbaniak, has been charged as an accessory after the fact to murder, as well as interference with a dead body, in connection to Saran's death.
Initially, police suspected Lyons' death on Aug. 12 to be a suicide. But when Nabors' body was found Aug. 25, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team took over the case.
IHIT Sgt. Jennifer Pound says surveillance footage taken from businesses was key in making the two arrests.
"Of course it's complex — it's taken many, many resources," said Pound.
Families thank police
'Every victim of murder has a mother, a father, a brother, a sister who cares and loves them' - Chief Supt. Bill Fordy, Surrey RCMP
Family members of the three victims are feeling a small sense of closure and relief following the arrests.
Saran's family want to remember him as he lived.
"He had a heart of gold," said Simrit Saran.
Lyons' mother, Sheri Hickman, said her daughter was taking steps to battle her drug addiction.
"She was trying to get into recovery before she was killed," said Hickman.
Tenants at the apartment complex said they are relieved someone has been charged with the deaths, but said they still don't feel safe in their homes because there is not enough security.
Police would not say if all three victims knew the accused, but did not suggest the attacks were completely random.