Charges have been laid in connection with the 2017 death of Surrey teen Bhavkiran Dhesi.
Harjot Singh Deo, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder, police announced at a press conference Monday.
Deo was arrested May 10 after landing at Vancouver International Airport from a domestic flight, Supt. Donna Richardson, officer in charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said.
Richardson said Deo was identified as a person of interest early in the investigation, that the investigation is ongoing and that police believe there are still people out there who have information that could further the case. Those people are being asked to contact the RCMP.
“We’re not finished yet,” she said. “We believe that we still have individuals in the community that have very intimate knowledge of what happened in this instance, of what happened to Bhavkiran. We’re looking for other individuals to come forward if they have that knowledge.”
Dhesi, 19, was last seen leaving the family home, with the family car, at 9 p.m. on Aug. 1 in 2017. Her body was found in a torched SUV at 12:20 a.m. Aug. 2, in the 18700-block of 24 Avenue in South Surrey.
Police last October issued an appeal for the public’s help with the case; less than two months later, Dhesi’s family spoke out, asking those with information to come forward.
“She didn’t deserve this, but she deserves justice,” Dhesi’s sister, Anjali, said in a December news conference. “Help us fight for Kiran because she’s no longer here today to fight for herself.”
Richardson said Monday that Deo and Dhesi had been in a romantic relationship, however, she did not know if they were still dating at the time of her death.
She confirmed Deo is “known to police,” but said investigators had “no indication that he was a flight risk.”
Richardson said she could not speak to Dhesi’s cause of death, citing the ongoing court process.
Surrey RCMP Asst. Cmsr. Dwayne McDonald said he hoped Monday’s news brings Dhesi’s family “some small comfort in knowing that a suspect has now been charged with her murder.”
According to B.C. court records, Deo has received a number of traffic violation tickets from 2016 to 2017, including running a red light, failing to display new driver sign and failure to provide driver’s licence or insurance.
He is due back in court on May 27.