British Columbia

Boyfriend of Kiran Dhesi charged with her 2nd-degree murder

Harjot Singh Deo, 21, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on Friday, over a year-and-a-half after Dhesi's body was found in a burned-out SUV.

Harjot Singh Deo, 21, was arrested Friday; Dhesi's body was found in a burned-out SUV in 2017

The body of Bhavkiran (Kiran) Dhesi, 19, was found inside a burned-out SUV in Surrey, B.C., just after midnight on Aug. 2, 2017. (Surrey RCMP)

The man charged with second-degree murder in the homicide of 19-year-old Bhavkiran (Kiran) Dhesi was arrested Friday, police say.

Harjot Singh Deo, 21, was in a romantic relationship with Dhesi when she was killed over a-year-and-a-half ago. He was taken into custody at Vancouver International Airport after arriving from an undisclosed Canadian location and was charged on the weekend.

Dhesi's body was discovered inside a burned-out SUV in the 18700 block of 24 Avenue in Surrey, B.C., on Aug. 2, 2017. Police say she sustained injuries that were consistent with a homicide.

Supt. Donna Richardson of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said police could not disclose what evidence led to Deo's arrest, but that the investigation was still active.

IHIT Supt. Donna Richardson announces the arrest of Harjot Singh Deo in the murder of Kiran Dhesi on May 13. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"He became known to investigators fairly early in our investigation," she said. "We're not finished yet. We believe there are still individuals in the community that have intimate knowledge of what happened to Bhavkiran."

Richardson said Deo was known to police. According to online records, the only charges he has faced previously seem limited to a handful of traffic violations.

IHIT said earlier that Dhesi wasn't known to police and that her death was likely targeted, but wasn't believed to be gang-related.

A student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, Dhesi had received a kidney transplant six months before she was slain. 

In December of last year, police located an Audi Q7 they believe was connected to the crime. They were also searching for a dark grey Dodge Ram.

Deo remains in custody. His next scheduled appearance is on May 27 in B.C. Provincial Court in Surrey. 

Homicide investigators said earlier that they believe Dhesi's death was targeted, but not gang-related. (IHIT)