When Nirmal Bains hadn’t returned home from his early-morning walk by 10 a.m. Saturday, his wife began looking for him.
She found her 80-year-old husband lying on the floor of a farmworkers’ cabin on their large rural property in the 31700 block of Huntingdon Road and called her son, Parmjit, in a panic.
Parmjit, his wife and two kids shared a home with his parents, and he raced out to the cabin. He and his mom thought Nirmal had suffered a heart attack or a fall.
Nirmal had open-heart surgery 10 years ago and was prone to dizzy spells. They called 911, and paramedics and Abbotsford Police quickly arrived on scene.
But what initially looked like a medical emergency has now become a murder investigation.
Sgt. Jennifer Pound of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said an autopsy completed on Monday determined that Nirmal sustained injuries consistent with a homicide.
IHIT and the Abbotsford Police Department continue to investigate, and have not released the cause of death.
“It is a true tragedy to see a dedicated family man live a full life into his 80s only to have his life so brutally taken from him,” Pound said.
Parmjit said the family has no idea who could be responsible for his father’s death.
Nirmal was devoted to his family, enjoyed walking and cycling, and went every day to the Khalsa Diwan Society Temple on South Fraser Way.
His English was good, and he helped fellow worshippers with translation issues and filling out paperwork such as income tax returns.
Nirmal also helped out on the raspberry farm that he and his son started when they moved from India to Canada in 1981. Nirmal had retired after a 26-year career with the Indian Air Force Police.
Parmjit said his father was a kind man who will be deeply missed by all those who knew him. A memorial service takes place Sunday at Woodlawn Funeral Home on Clearbrook Road, starting at 1:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, investigators are asking that anyone with information to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448, email firstname.lastname@example.org or, if they wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
This is Abbotsford’s third homicide of the year. Ryan Saint Ange, 21, was found dead in his residence on 56 Avenue on Jan. 13, and Jimmy Chau, 31, of Edmonton was found in a field on Farmer Road on Feb. 18.