British Columbia

Murder-suicide suspected cause of 3 deaths in Surrey home, police say

Homicide investigators say they believe three people found dead in a Surrey home Monday afternoon were likely killed in a murder-suicide.

Police had previously said all 3 people were related and there was no ongoing risk to the public

A frantic woman holds her crying face as she stands in front of a house surrounded by police tape.
A woman who knew one of the victims is pictured outside the house where the family's bodies were discovered. Police say they now believe the three people — husband and wife Leo Li and Tiffany Li and their adult son Daniel Li — died in a murder-suicide. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Homicide investigators believe three people found dead in a Surrey home Monday afternoon were killed in a murder-suicide.

"It appears so," IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Timothy Pierotti said in an interview when asked if that's what happened.

"We can say that we believe there's no outstanding suspects, anything like that, or any outstanding murder weapons."

The three people have not yet been identified by police, but people laying flowers and visiting the Fraser Heights home Tuesday identified them as husband and wife Leo Li and Tiffany Li and their adult son Daniel Li.

A woman with glasses stands in front of a crime scene, speaking to reporters.
Juan Zhou, a friend of the deceased family, speaks to media across from their house Tuesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"It's a very decent family, and they liked the life very much," said Juan Zou, who had dropped by. "They enjoy the life and Canada's life."

Zou said the family ran a tutoring business, something others in the neighbourhood also told CBC.

The three bodies were found around noon Monday inside the home on 112 Avenue near 156 Street by Surrey RCMP. They turned the case over to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

Police previously said the three adults found were all believed to be related and lived in the home, and no one else was inside.

'Always smiling, helped people'

A steady stream of people came by the house Tuesday. Word spread fast through WeChat about the deaths, according to one neighbour.

Many people were emotional, shedding tears. Flowers were left outside the police tape cordoning off the yard.

Zou said Leo and Tiffany both graduated from Peking University, also called Beijing University. They met when they both worked at Metrotown in Burnaby.

Tiffany opened a tutoring business and taught French. 

"She was a really nice teacher," said neighbour Connie Kang. "Always smiling. Helped people. Very friendly to neighbours, to all the students." 

Leo started tutoring, too, as did their son Daniel who attended university in Victoria.

A police officer stand behind police tape at a house's front door and looks in his coat pocket.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team took over the case from Surrey RCMP. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

No 'negative' interactions

Pierotti, on Tuesday, said none of the people living inside had any "negative" police contacts prior to the gruesome discovery.

"There was no history at that residence of domestic violence or anything to that effect," he said.

Police say they believe there is no ongoing risk to the public.

"We know that this kind of thing can affect an entire community," Pierotti said. "There's lots of people that will be affected by this."

Flowers are stacked up in front of police tape and a police SUV.
Flowers and cards were added to a memorial outside the house Tuesday. (Maritn Diotte/CBC)

With files from Meera Bains, Cali McTavish and Liam Britten