Vancouver police charge husband with second-degree murder in the 2006 killing of his wife

Published: February 19, 2013
Gurpreet Gill

Gurpreet Gill, 33, was reported missing in 2006, six years after she was married, and police positively identified her body two weeks ago with the help of a databank of human remains maintained by the B.C. Coroner’s Office. Submitted photo/Vancouver Police Department

SUSAN LAZARUK
VANCOUVER DESI

Questions remain about the death of a woman from India who had entered into an arranged marriage with a Vancouver man who is now charged with her murder.

Jaswant Singh Gill, 40, was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday and charged with the second degree murder of Gurpreet Gill, 33, Vancouver police said Monday.

She had been reported missing in 2006, six years after they wed, and police positively identified her body two weeks ago with the help of a databank of human remains maintained by the B.C. Coroner’s Office.

Homicide investigators used DNA from her family members to match it to human remains found in Richmond in 2006, police said.

Her relatives reported her missing in 2006 after hearing nothing from her for a long time, police said.

“Initially there were very few clues,” said Sgt. Kevin McLaren.

The case was investigated as a missing person’s case until “it became clear that she had likely met with foul play,” he said.

Gurpreet Gill

Vancouver Police Sgt. Kevin McLaren, with Deputy Chief Adam Palmer, right, describes why police arrested and charged Jaswant Singh Gill in the 2006 killing of his wife Gurpreet Gill on Feb. 18, 2013. Mark van Manen/PNG

Police looked for evidence for years and “recently, they found what they needed,” he said.

Police said they couldn’t reveal more details about the case because it’s still under investigation and before the courts.

“The file had international ramifications” and other people were investigated, said McLaren. Gill is the only person charged.

Richmond RCMP didn’t return a request for comment on Monday, but in 2006 the detachment had released details about a body found on June 5 in a wooded area southwest of Alderbridge Way and Shell Road, on Crown land belonging to the federal defence department.

At the time a spokesman said the death was suspicious but didn’t disclose how long the body had been in the bushes.

Vancouver police couldn’t say when Gurpreet Gill was reported missing or release a timeline for fear of jeopardizing the investigation or Crown’s case, said spokesman Brian Montague.

“It’s extremely complex,” he said.

Vancouver police receives 4,000 reports of missing persons every year and can’t release details publicly of all of them, he said.

Coroner’s spokeswoman, Barb McLintock, declined to comment on the case because it’s a homicide investigation.

A database of outstanding human remains cases on the Coroner’s website had five entries, three that displayed pictures of footwear and none that matched Gurpreet Gill’s details or year of death.

Gill had a brief appearance in Vancouver provincial court on Monday and is to remain in custody at least until his next court appearance next week.

Read the full police statement here.

slazaruk@theprovince.com
twitter.com/susanlazaruk

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