Foul play confirmed as police narrow in on suspects in Metchosin death
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, July 15, 2019 1:42PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, July 15, 2019 7:48PM PDT
Police say they've made "significant progress" in a suspicious death investigation after a man was found dead in his Metchosin home.
Martin Payne, 60, was found dead in his home in the 1000-block of Brookview Drive on Friday, July 12.
Investigators have deemed the death suspicious and said Payne met with foul play.
Payne's truck, a red Ford F150 with B.C. licence plate 7432HY was found Tuesday afternoon on Woodburn Avenue in Oak Bay.
The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit is investigating his death with assistance from West Shore RCMP, RCMP E Division Serious Crimes Unit, forensic investigators and specialized resources from RCMP and other police departments.
"The investigative team consists of more than 20 police officers. The investigation has made significant progress in developing leads and suspects in the death of Martin Payne," said Staff-Sgt. Raj Sandhu of West Shore RCMP.
Police say they believe the death is an isolated incident, but aren't saying whether the public is considered to be at risk.
CTV News has learned Payne was an employee at BC Mail Plus with the Ministry of Citizens' Services.
"This situation is tragic and our hearts and thoughts go out to Martin's family and friends at this difficult time," the ministry said in a statement. It declined to comment further but said it was providing support to BC Mail Plus staff.
On the weekend, neighbours in the 1000-block of Brookview Drive speculated that Payne's death may be connected to the escape of two inmates from a Metchosin prison earlier in the week.
James Lee Busch, 42, and Zachary Armitage, 30, were arrested in Esquimalt's West Bay neighbourhood on Tuesday night after escaping Sunday from William Head Institution, which is about 6.25 kilometres from Payne's home.
"A big prison escape and recapture and the suspicious death," neighbour Chris Van De Water told CTV News. "Like the police always say, there's no such thing as a coincidence, so I don't know."
Police are not commenting on whether the two incidents are linked or if the prison escapees are suspects in the suspicious death case.
Police are asking anyone who saw Payne's truck between the afternoon of Monday, July 8 and 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 9 – or anyone who saw suspicious activity near his home – to call the VIIMCU information line at 250-380-6211.
Investigators also asking residents with security cameras in the Brookview Drive area to review their footage between July 7 and mid-day July 9 and report suspicious activity to them.