British Columbia

2 charged in home invasion that led to elderly woman's death

Two men have been charged in connection with the death of an elderly woman who was attacked during a home invasion early Sunday, according to police.

Sandy Jack Parisian and Pascal Jean Claude Bouthillette will make next court appearance Feb. 16

A man who identified himself as Sandy Parisian was photographed by CBC News photojournalist Ben Nelms at Oppenheimer Park in September 2019. Parisian is one of two men charged in connection with the death of Usha Singh. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A Vancouver man made his first court appearance Thursday on a manslaughter charge in relation to a 78-year-old woman who died after being attacked in her residence earlier this week during a brutal home invasion.

Sandy Jack Parisian is one of two men who face charges in Usha Singh's death. His co-accused, Pascal Jean Claude Bouthillete, appeared briefly in court Wednesday following his arrest on a charge of second-degree murder.

Both men will make their next appearances on Feb. 16 as they await bail hearings.

Singh was found critically injured inside her house near the west side of Queen Elizabeth Park on Sunday. Police claim the two men posed as police officers to get into her home, then attacked her.

Singh was found in the home with life-threatening injuries hours later, after a concerned friend called police to have them check on her.

She was taken to hospital, but died on Tuesday.

"This really was a tragic and senseless act ... it shouldn't have happened," Vancouver police Sgt. Steve Addison said Wednesday.

Suspects arrested in East Vancouver

Parisian and Bouthillette were arrested the same day Singh died, according to police.

Parisian was found near Strathcona Park, where police say he lives in a tent. The 47-year-old was seriously injured during the arrest, which involved a police dog. He was hospitalized before being taken to jail.

Police obtained a warrant and searched Parisian's tent for any evidence.

A close-up picture of a Vancouver Police Department shoulder badge.
Vancouver police have arrested two men in connection with a home invasion on Sunday which resulted in the death of an elderly woman. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

He made a brief appearance Thursday morning in a courtroom where he stood in the prisoner's dock wearing a grey sweatshirt and blue medical mask. The judge who remanded Parisian into custody was in another courtroom watching the appearance through a video link.

At the time of his arrest, Parisian was wanted on an arrest warrant for unrelated charges, including breaching the terms of a 10 month probation he received, along with a 60 day conditional sentence for assault with a weapon in September 2019.

Parisian was charged with break and enter in April 2020, while still on probation. The arrest warrant was issued last August.

Bouthillette was also arrested Tuesday, near Main Street and Terminal Avenue. Police said he lives near the intersection in a trailer, which was also searched.

According to court records, the 41-year-old was on probation at the time of the attack.

Bouthillette was given one day in jail and 10 months credit for pre-trial custody as well as one year of probation in December 2020 when he was sentenced for break and enter at an address a short distance from Singh's home.

Police would not speak to a possible motive in the attack or say whether Singh might have been targeted, citing the ongoing investigation.

"I would love to be able to answer those questions ... [but] I'm not going to say anything that could jeopardize the outcome of this investigation. It's just far too serious and far too important," Addison said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the police department's Major Crime Section at 604-717-2500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.