The 29-year-old man facing a first-degree murder charge in the Stanley Park stabbing death of Lubomir “Lubo” Kunik has a history with Vancouver police.
Last February, Kunik was attacked and killed on the seawall between Second and Third Beaches. His body was found shortly before 11 p.m. on Feb. 1 by a man walking his dog on the beach.
Vancouver police announced Tuesday afternoon that Tyler Lagimodiere was arrested Monday in the slaying.
“I actually remember him,” said VPD Supt. Mike Porteous. “He’s from East Vancouver and he’s had a challenging life in Vancouver that has caused him to have contact with police from time to time.”
A search of court records shows a number of different charges and court appearances over the years for a man with the same name.
Porteous said investigators believe the attack was random and the victim and the accused did not know each other, and it was forensic evidence that led police to Lagimodiere.
The outdoor location and time of year made investigating the crime, and collecting that forensic evidence, particularly challenging, Porteous said, adding that investigators first linked Lagimodiere to the crime fairly early in the investigation.
Porteous said about six weeks after the attack “the forensics led us to believe that this individual” was involved.
“There’s two parts to any murder investigation. One, of course, is identifying who did it and the second part is proving it,” he said. “And so from the six-week period on this investigation was gathering enough evidence to support charges.”
Kunik was an amateur photographer. His friends say one of his favourite places to take photos was Stanley Park. "Everyone says the night he was killed was a beautiful night full of stars," his friend Pavol Gorel told the Courier last February. Gorel said Kunik, who was 61, didn't drink, smoke or do drugs and was probably in the park to take photos of the sparkling lights. "He had an iron will and strong principles. He was a really smart and educated man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. You can't imagine what a big hole this person who killed him made to his friends, to society, to everyone who knew him. We lost one of the finest men in our community. Society has lost such a good man."
Porteous said investigators have not been able to find a link between the murder and another attack in the park a few months earlier.
On Nov. 16, 2016 just after 2 a.m. a resident driving past the north parking lot at Brockton Oval saw a man in apparent distress alone in his car. Officers arrived to find an 82-year-old man suffering from serious, traumatic injuries. He is still recovering from the attack and has been cooperating with police and the incident is still under investigation.
Lagimodiere made his first court appearance Monday. He remains in custody pending his next appearance Jan. 17.