Motive in Marpole murder still unclear, police chief

While a suspect is in custody and charges have been laid, Vancouver police still don’t know the motive in the murder of a Marpole couple.

Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam, 25, was arrested in South Vancouver on Monday and is facing two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of 65-year-old Dianna Mah-Jones and Richard Jones, 68. The couple was found dead on Sept. 27 in their home on West 64th Avenue near Hudson Street.

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“The relationship between the victims, if any, and the accused remains unclear,” Chief Adam Palmer said at press conference Wednesday afternoon. “Investigators are trying to piece together a motive for these crimes.”

Kam was born in Hong Kong and his family immigrated to Canada when he was a teenager. The family settled in Calgary, the chief said, and Kam moved to Vancouver in July. He was staying at a home not far from the crime scene.

Palmer added that, as far as investigators can tell, Kam has no criminal history or known mental health issues.

“We still don’t know the motive that this fellow had. That’s something that we’re still working on so what was going through his head, quite frankly, your guess is as good as mine.”

He also said there appears to be no link between Kam and the couple.

“We’ve got no information whatsoever to tie the victims to the accused, there’s no connection whatsoever that we can find,” Palmer said, adding that there is nothing untoward in the backgrounds of the victims.

“They were upstanding people and just going about their lives causing no trouble for anybody.”

Mah-Jones was a well-respected occupational therapist at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre and Vancouver General Hospital.

In 2015 she was named the Outstanding Occupational Therapist of the Year by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists B.C. and just this past June she was honoured by the health authority as B.C.’s Health Care Hero at the annual B.C. Health Care Awards.

Palmer said it was a complex investigation with more than 200 officers and civilian members working around the clock.

“Over the past six weeks, our investigators have used numerous investigative techniques to narrow down and arrest a suspect,” he said. “As chief, I am very proud of our team for the solid, thorough investigative work that has led to charges against a suspect.”

The public also played an important role, he said, adding that the department received more than 100 videos and numerous tips.

“I also want to thank the citizens of Vancouver for their help and patience,” Palmer said. “We put out several pleas for information and the public responded…

“I want to acknowledge that it can be frustrating for the public when weeks go by after a major crime occurs and a suspect is not arrested,” he said. “Rest assured that in cases like this our team is working diligently behind the scenes and around-the-clock. These investigations are challenging and they strain our resources and our people but know that our members are committed to doing what they need to do to find the suspects and keep Vancouver safe.”

The deaths marked Vancouver’s 14th and 15th homicides of the year. So far this year there have been 17 murders in the city.

@JessicaEKerr

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