An Abbotsford man whose death is under investigation by police is being described as a an “excellent person” and a “very nice man” who was caring and friendly.
The Abbotsford News has learned the deceased is 63-year-old David Delaney (in photo below).
Investigators have not yet released his name, but the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) issued a press release on Wednesday evening, saying they had been called to the Aspen Court apartment building on Center Street at about 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
A man in a suite was pronounced dead on the scene. APD major crime detectives and officers with the forensic identification unit were called and, after the death was determined to be suspicious in nature, the matter was turned over to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).
As of Thursday at noon, IHIT had not released any further information about the death.
Martha Janzen, who has been the Aspen Court building manager for about 12 years, said she was first alerted to Delaney’s death on Tuesday when a fourth-storey tenant complained about a horrid smell.
The tenant could not locate the source of the odour, and Janzen then called the maintenance person.
They knocked on Delaney’s suite, located next door to the tenant who had called, and when they didn’t get an answer, they unlocked the door and went in.
“As soon as we opened the door, we knew there was something wrong in there,” Janzen said.
They opened the closed bedroom door and the maintenance man walked into the room, as Janzen held back. She said they saw Delaney’s body on the bed, and there was no blood or any other apparent sign of trauma.
“We thought he had maybe just died in his sleep,” she said.
They immediately called 911, and police arrived on the scene.
Janzen said she has not been informed about the possible cause of death. She said police are trying to locate Delaney’s vehicle and cellphone.
She said Delaney, who was the head chef at the Big River Restaurant and Taphouse in Coquitlam, had lived in the building since August 2013. He mostly kept to himself.
“It (the death) is hard, because we didn’t know him that well, but we did talk and we were friendly. He was what you would call a model tenant – somebody we didn’t ever have to worry about, never caused any problems,” she said.
Mario Facchin, who owns the Rendezous Restaurant on Mt. Lehman Road, has been friends with Delaney for about 40 years and described him as “an excellent person” with an easygoing nature.
The two first met when they were both working at a Denny’s restaurant in Vancouver in the 1970s, and Delaney later worked for Facchin in Abbotsford.
He said the two kept in touch over the years, even when Delaney lived in Winnipeg for awhile before moving back to Abbotsford.
The pair usually met weekly for coffee or breakfast, and Facchin said he last received a text from Delaney’s phone on Saturday.
“I’m so broken-hearted,” Facchin said of his friend’s passing.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.