Investigators say a man whose body was found in a south Nanaimo home following a fire that broke out last week was the victim of a homicide.
The victim, 40-year-old Trevor Stross of no fixed address, was found dead in the Athletic Street home Thursday, Aug. 11.
At the time, Mounties classified it as a suspicious death, and on Monday confirmed that it’s being investigated as a homicide.
Police have determined that Stross had recently arrived in Nanaimo and was “known to travel between Nanaimo and Victoria.”
“The reason for releasing the name is that we believe it will further the investigation,” said Cst. Gary O’Brien.
“He recently arrived in Nanaimo. We don’t know when. What we are asking the public is that if they have any information on him to contact us. Any interactions with him either somewhere on the island or in Nanaimo may help with this investigation.”
Neighbours in the area told CHEK News that they believed the home was used as a drug house, with police visiting the home dozens of times in the past year.
“The guy across the street was saying there were about four or five people that just left suddenly before the cops showed up,” said neighbour Geoff Garman.
Court records show Stross was facing nine fraud-related charges stemming from June to November of 2021.
He was accused of defrauding more than $5,000 from Easy Financial of Victoria, Clutch Canada of Delta, TD Auto Finance of Victoria, the National Bank of Canada of Victoria and Galaxy Motors of Langford.
Stross’s next court date on the charges was set for Aug. 25.
On Monday, the home remained behind police tape for a fifth consecutive day as police conducted a search of the home for hours.
Police are asking anyone with information on the incident or those who had recent interactions with Stross to call them at 250-754-2345 and quote file number 2022-27862.