Father in Richmond double homicide identified; suspect images released
Posted December 8, 2023 10:55 am.
Last Updated December 8, 2023 9:09 pm.
Homicide investigators are on the hunt for a suspect caught on surveillance footage shortly before a 46-year-old man and his 13-year-old son were found dead in Richmond last month.
The bodies of Derrek Chen and his teen son were discovered by a family member at their home on Goldsmith Road, near the Rocky View Playground and London Sports Fields, around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30.
On Friday, Dec. 8, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) released images of Chen, as well as a person seen on camera leaving the house around 8:40 p.m. the night the father and son were found dead.
IHIT says the suspect was seen leaving the scene into the London Sports Fields.
At the time, police say the person was wearing a balaclava-type mask, a white hat, and jeans.
Investigators are now asking anyone who may have been a the London Sports Fields between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Nov. 30 to contact IHIT.
They are also looking to speak with anyone who may have known Chen or his son, and “who can provide insight as to who would want to hurt these people.”
“There were only two people home at the time of this incident — Derrek and his son. That whole family is going through something unimaginable. As I said, it’s something I can’t even try to put myself in their shoes right now. As a parent, as a spouse, to see this kind of stuff happen, it’s heartbreaking,” Sgt. Timothy Pierotti said Friday.
“I’ve been doing this for five years. I’ve spoke to many families. Everyone’s experience is unique. This is certainly a tragedy that is affecting an entire community.”
Pierotti added that police aren’t able to share any information about a potential murder weapon or manner in which the two people died.
“At this time, we’re not sharing publicly the mechanism of death,” he said.
Investigators previously said it appeared the deaths were targeted and that it was still working to determine a motive.
“We don’t believe this was a random incident where anyone was just randomly targeted,” Pierotti said Friday. “We do believe that someone came to that residence with an intention.”
Last week, Pierotti had said they hadn’t ruled anything out, but there was nothing suggesting the family had anything to do with the B.C. gang conflict.
Pierotti is encouraging anyone in need of support to reach out to the Richmond RCMP.
“If anyone is feeling nervous, they can always contact the police if they would like me to come by and take a look at a suspicious circumstance,” he said. “The police in your area will be making proxy patrols. They’ll be around and they certainly can assist you to try to make you feel calmer to these situations.”
IHIT can be reached by phone at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at email@example.com.
-With files from Negin Nia and Cole Schisler