RCMP in Langley are searching for a man who they allege broke into his estranged wife’s home, assaulted her and one of her children with a weapon, and lit the home on fire.
“It’s shocking. The severity of this incident is bigger than what we see regularly,” Corporal Holly Marks, an RCMP spokeswoman, said in an interview.
Police were called to the home at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. They say the man entered the residence, started the fire and then went into his wife’s bedroom, where she was assaulted.
The woman’s daughter attempted to intervene, RCMP say, and was also struck with the weapon.
The mother, daughter, and the woman’s son were able to flee the home before it became fully engulfed.
Mounties were initially uncertain whether the man had made it out of the home, but announced Wednesday afternoon that they had obtained a warrant for his arrest and were making efforts to locate him.
Cpl. Marks said police are looking for Andre Harvey Richard. She described the 44-year-old as Caucasian, 5-foot-8, and about 200 pounds with short dark hair and possibly facial hair.
She said police believe he may have been driving a minivan, a 2006 Grey Saturn Relay with B.C. licence plate 804 HWC.
Cpl. Marks said the woman was recovering in hospital, and was in stable condition. The daughter did not have life-threatening injuries.
Cpl. Marks said Mr. Richard was known to police and was not supposed to have any contact with his wife.