Police are at a home in the 2900 block of 224th Street on Boxing Day as they investigate a Christmas Eve death. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Police are at a home in the 2900 block of 224th Street on Boxing Day as they investigate a Christmas Eve death. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: IHIT investigating Langley senior’s Christmas Eve death

A 67-year-old was at a social gathering earlier in the day before he was found dead in Murrayville

IHIT has taken charge of the investigation into a Christmas Eve murder in the 2900 block of 224th Street.

The body of 67-year-old Dennis Johnston was found Dec. 24, and the police are appealing to the public to come forward with any information about his activities before his death.

“It’s establishing where he was and who he may have been with,” said IHIT Det. Lara Jansen. “It certainly assists investigators in tracking down any investigative leads as they pursue this file.”

Police and Township firefighters were responded to a call to Murrayville where there was an unresponsive male.

“9:23 p.m. is when the Langley RCMP front-line members responded to that residence,” she said.

Emergency crews were not able to save the senior citizen.

“Despite resuscitation attempts, the man was pronounced deceased and IHIT was subsequently called in,” said. “One person at the scene was initially taken into custody but later released. Investigators believe this was an isolated incident, not related to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict.”

IHIT is working closely with the Langley RCMP, Integrated Forensic Identification Services and the BC Coroners Service to gather evidence and complete priority tasks. A number of IHIT members are working on the file and can call in additional members for specific expertise, she explained.

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In order to further the investigation and establish a timeline prior to his death, IHIT has released the name of the dead man from Langley.

“We urge anyone who was with Mr. Johnston or has details of his activities prior to his death to speak with investigators,” Jansen said. “We know Mr. Johnston was at a social gathering earlier in the day on Christmas Eve and encourage those who were there or saw him there to come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT(4448) or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

She could not disclose what the public has provided so far.

“The investigators are continuing to encourage anyone with information to get ahold of IHIT,” Jansen said.