Police investigation continues into Alberni’s first homicide

Police continue their investigation into the suspicious death of a 75-year-old Alberni man and the going is slow but thorough.

Police continue their investigation into the death of a 75-year-old Alberni man in an incident they are calling suspicious, and the going is slow but thorough, RCMP Cpl. Jen Allan said.

Marvin Edmund Hankins, 75, was found dead in his Fourth Avenue home by a relative on Friday, Jan. 13.

The death is the city’s first homicide of 2012.

A forensic autopsy was completed on Wednesday but the results including cause of death aren’t being released yet, Allan said.

Hankins was found on Friday but investigators aren’t saying when Hankins likely died, nor are they saying when he was last seen.

“It’s not something that is going to be released,” Allan said.

The local police general investigative section and the Island major crimes unit are involved in the investigation.

Police unsecured Hankins home on Wednesday after investigators wearing white hazardous material suits spent four days meticulously combing through the home for any clues.

Allan could not say whether the killing was random or targeted. “Investigators are still trying to determine that so I can’t conclusively say one way or the other.”

Witnesses have been questions and leads followed up on so the investigations is progressing.

“Investigations vary in length from one to the next,” Allan said. “This is very complex and investigators need to be thorough.”

Hankins was the former caretaker of the GK Apartments on Fourth Avenue, which is also known locally as the ghetto. The building is located one block from Hankins’ residence.

“He (Hankins) hasn’t been the caretaker for five months,” new building owner Paul Soroya said. “I met him once since I recently bought the property from a local guy and I’m sorry to hear that this has happened.”

Police are not linking the death with other recent police incidents in Alberni, such as the home invasion and robbery of an 83-year-old Reino Koivunen on Jan. 10.

Never the less, the public is being asked to be cautious.

“We don’t want to alarm any group in particular in the community,” Allan said.

“We’re warning the community to take precautions and to be aware at all times that their residence is secure,” Allan said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com