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Coquitlam RCMP seek stabbing suspect

Coquitlam RCMP is asking for the public's assistance in identifying a suspect believed to be involved in a vicious stabbing last December that left a 19-year-old Maple Ridge man in critical condition.

Early on Dec. 15, 2011, a man waiting for a bus at Coquitlam Central Station transit exchange was attacked by another man with a knife shortly after midnight. The victim sustained multiple stab wounds, including one that pierced his heart, before being rushed to hospital.

As the suspect fled the scene, running past the A&W at Pinetree Village shopping plaza toward Westwood Street, he also left behind a jacket.

Const. Andrew Coupe, the lead investigator in the case, believes surveillance footage released to the public during a press conference on Thursday morning and the green hoodie with black skulls with the name brand Death Valley could help identify the suspect.

"If you recognize this man or his hoodie, we need to hear from you," Coupe said. "If you know someone who used to wear a hoodie like this one but hasn't worn it recently, we need to hear from you."

Based on the smell of the sweater, Coupe said investigators believe the suspect wore the hoodie often and it may have been a signature piece of clothing.

The victim is still recovering from the wounds and is expected to survive but Coupe said it is too early to determine what psychological impacts of the attack. The two men did not know each other prior to the run-in at the bus loop and police are still trying to determine the motivation for the stabbing.

Using surveillance footage, investigators have been able to establish the suspect's movements leading up to the attack.

On Dec. 14, he entered the Granville Street SkyTrain station in Vancouver at 11:09 p.m., boarding an eastbound train.

At 11:44 p.m., he arrived at Braid Station, where he boarded the 169 bus to Coquitlam Central Station.

Within two minutes of his arrival at the bus loop, shortly after 12:21 a.m., he had stabbed his victim and was seen running north at 12:23 a.m. toward Lougheed Highway.

"We need the public's help to identify the suspect and bring some closure for the victim and his family," Coupe said in a statement. "Without new information, there is a very real possibility that the suspect may not be brought to justice."

The suspect is described as a Caucasian man, about 30 years old, with an average height and build, a lean face and square jaw with pronounced cheekbones. At the time of the stabbing, he had brown hair with an army-style buzz-cut and he was wearing white pants, a green hoodie and black shoes.

Based on witness accounts, the suspect had noticeable body odour.

Anyone with information on the attacker is asked to call the Major Crimes Section of Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1477. Anyone wishing to provide information anonymously can do so through Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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