Three Surrey men have been charged in relation to the May 2022 killing of an elderly Abbotsford couple.
Gurkaran Singh, 22, Abhijeet Singh, 20, and Khushveer Toor, 20, have each been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in relation to the deaths of Arnold De Jong, 77, and his wife, Joanne, 76.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced the arrests and charges on Friday afternoon (Dec. 16).
IHIT spokesman Sgt. Timothy Pierotti said at a press conference that one of the men knew the De Jongs, although he wasn’t sure which one nor did he know in what capacity or whether any of the suspects are related to one another.
Pierotti also said he could not speak about any of the circumstances of the killings, including a possible motive, as the case is now before the courts.
He said all three suspects are Surrey residents and were arrested in Surrey on Friday morning. None have prior criminal records, he said.
Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr said the department’s thoughts and prayers are with the De Jong family.
“We know today’s arrests and charges don’t necessarily bring closure, but I hope they bring some level of comfort to a family that has truly suffered greatly with the loss of their family members,” he said.
Serr thanked everyone involved in the investigation for “their expertise and professionalism.”
“I know when something like this occurs, it creates a great deal of fear within the community, and you can’t always come out and explain what is going on at the time,” he said.
“Joanne and Arnold were very well-known in our community … and we were all committed to seek justice.”
The De Jongs were found dead on the morning of May 9, 2022 in their home in the 33600 block of Arcadian Way, a rural road in east Abbotsford (west of the Abbotsford-Mission Highway between Clayburn and Bateman roads).
Police have not released their cause of death.
The couple owned De Jong Transport, and Arnold travelled almost two million miles over the years in his 1965 Hayes truck transporting produce, berries, flowers and eggs.
Joanne was a licensed practical nurse at local hospitals before staying home to raise their three daughters.