Police have made an arrest in connection with the murder of Julie Paskall in Surrey.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has scheduled a news conference for Saturday afternoon, where members will announce details of what it calls "a significant development" in the high-profile case. As of Friday afternoon, no charges have been laid.
Global News broke the story on Friday afternoon, before Ms. Paskall's family had been notified. However, the Globe and Mail has learned the family was aware police had a suspect in mind. Global reported that investigators had been "following the suspect around the Lower Mainland for weeks," and that he has a "serious criminal record."
Ms. Paskall, a 53-year-old mother of three, was waiting to pick up her son from a hockey game at the Newton Arena on Dec. 29 when she was savagely attacked. At the time, police called the attack random and unprovoked, and said the likely motive was robbery.
Ms. Paskall was taken off life support and died two days later – on New Year's Eve – in hospital.
The murder was the 25th in Surrey in 2013, which is the most in a calendar year.
Ms. Paskall's murder galvanized a community, which rallied for ramped up safety measures, including community policing, bike patrols and a crackdown on unlicensed recovery houses.