A suspect has been charged with murder in the Stanley Park stabbing death of Lubomir Kunik.
On Monday, 29-year-old Tyler Anthony Lagimodiere made his first appearance in Vancouver provincial court on a charge of first-degree murder. He had been arrested earlier the same day, according to police.
Kunik's body was found on the night of Feb. 1, 2017, lying on the seawall between Second Beach and Third Beach.
Investigators believe the homicide was random, and say Lagimodiere and Kunik had never met before the night of the slaying.
Police were only able to make a connection between the two men through forensic analysis of evidence found at the scene. Lagimodiere's DNA has been on file since 2009, when he was required to submit a sample as part of his sentence in a violent home invasion, according to court documents.
"Our investigators worked diligently and used a variety of investigative tactics and resources to solve this crime," Vancouver police Supt. Mike Porteous said in a news release.
Known as "Lubo" or "Bobor" to his friends, Kunik was 61 years old and an amateur photographer. He may have been in the park to take photos of the night sky.
According to a memorial page, Kunik was born in what is now known as Slovakia, but left at a young age for Vancouver.
"Bobor took every moment to explore each acre of wilderness and climbed to every mountain top he could find," the memorial page says.
He worked in Burnaby for the imaging and electronics company Ricoh, which told CBC News that a training room was recently named in his honour.
"Lubomir Kunik was beloved by coworkers and the customers we serve each day. The team always admired his passion to help others," the company said in an email.
His death prompted fears about safety in the park, coming just a few months after an 82-year-old man was severely injured in another attack. The victim in that assault was left in his car in a parking lot near Brockton Oval.
Lagimodiere has a criminal history that includes convictions for uttering threats to cause death or serious harm, possession of a handgun, break and enter and robbery. He is also scheduled to go on trial later this month on charges of motor vehicle theft and possession.
He remains in police custody until his next court appearance on the murder charge, scheduled for Jan. 17.