Man with possible Sask. connection charged in B.C. murder

Three people have been charged in connection with the 2007 murder of Amanpreet Kaur Bahia of Surrey.

Bahia’s husband, Baljinder Singh Bahia, 41, a woman named Tanpreet Kaur Athwal, 42, and a man named Eduard Viktorovitch Baranec, 33, have been charged with murder, The Vancouver Sun has learned.

They are due in Surrey Provincial Court Monday.

Bahia, a 33-year-old mother of three young girls, was murdered in her Newton home on Feb. 7, 2007, in what police at the time called a “brutal, violent attack.”

Two of her three children were at home at the time of her death, including a one-year-old who was found sitting on her body.

Didar Singh, Bahia’s father-in law, who also lived in the home with his wife, had discovered Bahia’s body at around 11:30 a.m.

Bahia’s cousin Harpal Sandhu said Athwal, a realtor for Century 21, had helped the couple list a Surrey property.

A person also named Edward Baranec has had brushes with the law in Saskatoon, having been charged with aggravated assault in August 2007 and linked to the disappearance of 15-year-old Katelyn Noble, with whom he had briefly lived.

Noble went missing in Radisson on Aug. 17, 2007 and hasn’t been seen since. Leona Noble, Katelyn’s mother, said in a 2008 interview with the The StarPhoenix that her daughter had been living with Greg Friend, alias Greg Laviolette, in Mission, B.C., in 2006. Late that year, she moved to Radisson with Friend and a man named Edward Baranec.

According to Leona Noble, she and her daughter remained close during the time Katelyn lived with the two men in Radisson.

But in December of that year, Baranec "accused Katelyn of breaking the septic system in the house,” said Leona Noble. “After that, the relationship between Baranec and Noble became "heated."

Noble came back to Mission to visit for a few weeks in June 2007, which was the last time her mother saw her.

Then, her mother said, phone calls between her and Noble became more sporadic. She talked to her mother the last time in August, telling her that she would be moving to Ottawa with Friend, and would be getting an apartment "because she was sick and tired of Edward." Then, she received a call from Friend on Aug. 17.

"He was frantic, asking if I’d heard from her," she said. "He said they were packing and he didn’t know where she went. He said he went outside and saw Ed kissing her down the road and was walking towards them. She pushed Ed off, and started running down the road."

It was the last time anyone had seen Katelyn. She had left her suitcases, bags and purse behind.

A homicide detective first told family of the arrests on Friday night.

“Everybody’s been sad for the last three days,” said Parminder Chohan, Bahia’s uncle.

Bahia’s family said while the news is hard to swallow, it will help provide closure, four years after Bahia’s grisly murder.

“Maybe Amanpreet’s soul is now is at peace,” Sandhu said. “Before, I was thinking maybe she doesn’t have peace because no one knew what happened with her.”

“We are shattered to hear it,” Chohan said. “But on the other side, we are happy they have got the people.”

Sandhu described Bahia as an excellent mother and an incredibly hard worker, known to drive every employee home each day after working on the Cloverdale farm she and Baljinder owned.

"Everybody knows how good she is," Bahia said. "I don’t think she was ever mad at anybody. God gave her a big heart. I don’t know why they would kill her."

Bahia’s three children, who lived with Baljinder until his arrest, are now staying with grandparents, Johal said.

Police confirmed Sunday night arrests have been made in the case but would not provide further details until a news conference scheduled for Monday morning.


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