Investigators in Nanaimo say several people arrested in connection with the seemingly random stabbing death of a 29-year-old man in Maffeo Sutton Park on Monday have been released from custody with no charges against them.
However, police say the investigation remains ongoing and there is more work to do before charges are recommended.
“This investigation is only in the early stages and much needs to be done before police are in a position to forward charges to Crown Counsel,” Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien said in a statement. “Investigators are aggressively pursuing this file and doing everything that is necessary to gather evidence and establish who is responsible for this homicide.”
Mounties were called to the downtown waterfront area Monday night at around 11:30 p.m. for a report that youths were intimidating and harassing a security guard.
When they arrived, the youths had fled, but one officer discovered a 29-year-old man in the park who had been stabbed. He later died from his injuries in hospital.
RCMP said at the time they arrested two people, ages 17 and 19, in connection with the homicide and were searching for a third person linked to the stabbing.
In an earlier news release, police said there appeared to be no connection between the individuals and the victim, but in Thursday’s statement they did not clarify whether those people were still suspects.
Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog told CHEK News that the victim was one of the city’s vulnerable residents and had disabilities.
“This person was more vulnerable than many in our streets, and for anyone to attack them just makes it that much more frustrating and increases the public anger, and the anger and sadness that I think we all feel for the individual and his family,” Krog said.
Anyone who was at Maffeo Sutton Park Monday between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and midnight who witnessed an altercation is asked to call RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file number 2022-31326.