British Columbia

Vancouver police identify homicide victim as Kitsilano park caretaker

Vancouver police say the death of a city park caretaker was a homicide. The 77-year-old man was found dead in his home on Friday.

Justis Daniel, 77, was found dead in his Tatlow Park residence on Friday, police say

Vancouver police say the death of a city park caretaker was a homicide. The 77-year-old man was found dead in his home on Friday. (Doug Kerr/CBC News)

Police in Vancouver are investigating the death of a city park caretaker as a homicide.

Officers were called to a home in Kitsilano near West 3rd Avenue and Macdonald Street on Friday around 11 a.m. PT where they found the body of 77-year-old Justis Daniel.

On Sunday, they confirmed that Daniel was the long-term caretaker of Tatlow Park.

The 1.4 hectare park has a field house, playground, tennis courts, a washroom and an onsite caretaker, according to the City of Vancouver. The caretaker residence in the park is the focus of the police investigation. 

 

Police say the death is the 17th homicide of 2021, but so far have announced few details about why or how Daniel was killed.

"No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing," the VPD said in a release.

Park board reaction

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation said in a statement Sunday it is saddened that Daniel's "life was cut short in such a senseless way.

"As a long-time caretaker at Tatlow Park, Mr. Daniel contributed to the enjoyability of the park each and every day," said the statement. "Our sincerest condolences are with his family and friends, as well as the park board staff and members of the community who came to know him."

Nearby residents also reacted with shock about the death. They say Daniel was well-known, had been at the park for decades and cared about his community.

WATCH | A Kitsilano resident reacts to the death of Justis Daniel:

'It’s a nice neighbourhood and he’s just a nice old guy'

7 months ago
Duration 0:48
A resident in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood reacts to the suspicious death of a park caretaker.

Investigators are looking for anyone with dashcam video or witnesses who were in the area of the park between 7 a.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the VPD's Major Crime Section at 604-717-2500.

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