A man whose body was found on a property on Ross Road has been identified by investigators as Joseph Kellington, 24, of Mission.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) released the information on Monday afternoon, saying that Kellington was the victim of a targeted murder.
Cpl. Meghan Foster of IHIT says Kellington was reported missing to the Mission RCMP on Jan. 31, and investigators confirmed that the last trace of him was Jan. 29 in Abbotsford.
Foster said investigators are working to confirm when Kellington’s death occurred. She said the evidence so far does not link his death to other incidents of gang violence in Abbotsford.
IHIT was called in to investigate after someone discovered Kellington’s body in the 4500 block of Ross Road at about 5 p.m. Friday.
Foster said investigators are looking to speak with anyone who might have seen him from Jan. 29 onwards.
“Mr. Kellington was known to police, but it is still early in the investigation and police are working to determine the motive for his death,” Foster added.
Kellington was among three people charged in May 2016 with a violent incident that had occurred two months prior in the 33800 block of Dlugosh Avenue in Mission.
In that incident, a 25-year-old Abbotsford man and a 33-year-old Mission man suffered non-life-threatening injuries after they were assaulted by several suspects with a crowbar and possibly an axe.
Kellington was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of robbery and one count of theft of a motor vehicle in relation to that incident.
He was scheduled to go to trial on those charges April 18 in Abbotsford, along with co-accused Julie Marilyn Kimber.
Michael Jared Johnson, the third person charged in that case, is expected to enter a guilty plea on Wednesday (March 8).
Kellington was also facing more recent charges – assault causing bodily harm on Dec. 2 and fleeing from a police officer and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle on Jan. 24, all in Mission.
He also had prior convictions for possession for the purpose of trafficking and driving while prohibited, according to the provincial court database.
Friends posting on Facebook about Kellington’s death said he will be missed.
“Despite Joe’s choices, he was a great person and loved by so many people,” read one post.
Stated another: “It doesn’t matter what he’s done in his past. He was loved by so many and had a family who cares about him. Those things don’t change the person he was.”
Anyone with information about Kellington is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448), email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.