UPDATE: IHIT says body found in Abbotsford field likely a murder

An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death and to help confirm his identity.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has said a man whose body was found Sunday in an Abbotsford field appears to have been murdered.

IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound said an autopsy will be conducted today (Monday) to confirm the cause of death and help determine the man’s identity.

“It is too early to say whether this is gang-related or a targeted killing,” she said. “At this point the priority is to identify the deceased and confirm the cause of death so as to move the investigation forward.”

Pound said the man appears to be between 20 and 30 years old.

He was found just before 9:30 a.m. in a field in the 33600 block of Farmer Road after a passing motorist called police to report seeing what appeared to be a body in a field.

The driver remained on scene while patrol division officers were dispatched.

Members of the Abbotsford Police forensic identification unit and major crime detectives were involved in the investigation. IHIT was called in later in the day and has now taken over the investigation.

If the man’s death is confirmed as a murder, it will be Abbotsford’s second homicide of the year. Ryan Saint Ange, 21, was found dead in his Bradner-area home just after midnight on Jan. 14. His cause of death has not been revealed.

Abbotsford had no murders in 2011.

Anyone with information about the Farmer Road death is asked to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448 or email ihittipline@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. Tips can also be left anonymously with CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or Solvecrime.ca.