The mother of a man found murdered in a vacant lot in Willoughby last week is begging people to contact the police with information about the case.
Jennifer Martinolich used a Facebook post to ask anyone with knowledge about the homicide of her son, Nick Ball, to call the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448.
Although IHIT has not officially identified Ball, 29, as the victim located last week in the 7400 block of 208th Street, multiple people on social media have identified him as the deceased.
Friends and family have been expressing condolences and grief on Facebook.
IHIT has so far said little about the death.
Det. Cpl. Sukhi Desi confirmed last week that Langley RCMP officers were called to the vacant lot just after noon on March 29 where they discovered the body.
It is believed he was killed on the property where he was found, although a cause of death has not been released. Ball had been a Langley resident.
An extensive multi-day examination of the scene took place, with IHIT and forensic expert officers visible at the location.
Although the victim was known to police, Desi said the death is not believed to be linked to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang wars, nor to the death of a man in Walnut Grove hotel room on March 25.
Court records show that a Nicholas Ryan Ball, the same age as the victim, has faced several criminal charges since 2017.
He was found guilty of assault in 2017, and was more recently charged with kidnapping, unlawful confinement, and aggravated assault. The case was scheduled to be resume with a pre-trial conference April 7 before a judge in New Westminster Supreme Court, but that appearance was later removed from the court schedule.
Court records show the alleged kidnapping, unlawful confinement, and assault charges took place on or around Aug. 29, 2017, with the first offence taking place in Langley, and the assault and confinement in Dawson Creek.
Staff Sgt. Damon Werrell, commander of the Dawson Creek RCMP detachment, said Ball was arrested on the charges in the Lower Mainland in February, 2021. He was then released from custody pending a court appearance.
IHIT and other police agencies have been dealing with a string of recent shootings and murders, including the two in Langley that took place less than a week apart.
“I want to assure the public that IHIT is well-resourced for all recent investigations,” Desi said. “We have the support of our specialized policing partners, Lower Mainland Integrated (ITeams), and our dedicated homicide investigators.”
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