CCTV footage captured in the final hours and minutes of South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo’s life show the movements of four individuals, and include what appears to be an altercation between three of them.
In Surrey Provincial Court Wednesday (Jan. 27), multiple clips shared show two individuals – one dressed in dark clothing and another in dark pants and a lighter-coloured top – walking in the 1700-block of 152 Street, through the underground parking lot at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre and in the commercial parking lot at the southwest corner of 18 Avenue and 152 Street on the morning of Aug. 16, 2019.
The images aren’t crisp, however, two series in particular evoked emotion from family members who were watching them from the courtroom gallery.
Captured in the commercial parking lot just before 3:30 a.m., one shows Prestbakmo passing by an ATM lobby that’s located in the lot’s northeast corner. A dark-clothed individual appears to follow him, followed by a second individual approximately 15 seconds later.
Another clip, captured around the same time by a northwest-facing security camera mounted inside the McDonald’s restaurant, shows a flurry of movement between what appears to be the same three individuals.
Const. Travis Anderson compiled a timeline of maps, video stills and video clips from the time frame in question, explaining to the court that he added circles of red to the stills to help draw the court’s attention to areas of interest in the clips. On the maps, he noted directions of travel, camera locations and other specifics deemed relevant to the investigation.
Referencing one still and a map related to the above-noted activity captured by the McDonald’s and ATM-lobby cameras, the former White Rock RCMP officer noted movements seen in the clip were “so close together” that it would be difficult to differentiate them on a map.
The footage was shared as part of the case against the two youth who are charged with second-degree murder in connection with Prestbakmo’s death, and with aggravated assault in connection with an attack in the hours prior on a White Rock senior.
Prestbakmo was found with fatal stab wounds just before 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 16, 2019, in the commercial parking lot where the footage was captured.
The senior White Rock victim was left with “extensive injuries.”
A police news release issued at the time in an effort to learn more about the attack on the senior noted that surveillance video showed that a man in his 60s left his residence around 2:30 that morning, wearing a distinctive yellow-and-black jacket and a camouflage ball cap, and that he was next seen in the 1600-block of 152 Street shortly before 3 a.m. CCTV footage at his residence showed the man returning home at approximately 4:30 a.m., without his cap and with noticeable injuries.
The footage was also part of what was played in court Wednesday.
Earlier this week, the court heard that Prestbakmo was stabbed 42 times, and that his DNA was found on shoes, a jacket and a curved knife that were seized during the police investigation.
The trial began Jan. 11. A ban prevents publication of the accused’s identities.
The proceedings are scheduled to resume Monday (Feb. 1).