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Police identify owner of vehicle found burning with body inside in rural Abbotsford

Sukhdev Dhaliwal, the victim of a homicide in Abbotsford, in a police handout photo. Integrated Homicide Investigation Team

Homicide investigators have identified the owner of a vehicle found burning in an Abbotsford field with a body inside last weekend.

However, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) says it’s still not clear if Sukhdev Dhaliwal is the victim of what appears to be a suspicious murder.

READ MORE: Body found in burning vehicle in rural Abbotsford, homicide team deployed

The black Chevrolet Tahoe registered to Dhaliwal, 48, was found engulfed in flames in the 5300-block of Bates Road around 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 16.

Once the fire was extinguished, a burned body was found inside, prompting police to be called. Homicide investigators were dispatched shortly afterwards.

A burnt-out vehicle found in rural north Abbotsford late on Nov. 15, 2019. Curtis Kreklau

IHIT revealed Friday that witnesses have reported seeing a dark-coloured SUV leave the scene of the vehicle fire and head towards Mission that same night.

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Investigators are also working to identify the body, but IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Frank Jang has said that could take some time due to the state the body was found in.

“While we are unable to confirm if Mr. Dhaliwal was the victim in this case, we are interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen or spoken to him,” Jang said in a statement.

READ MORE: 18-year-old sent to hospital after stabbing at Abbotsford house party

“We must also wait for the conclusive findings from the autopsy as well as DNA verification before we are able to positively identify the victim.”

Investigators are now working to put together a timeline of events leading up to the discovery of the crime scene.

Anyone with information helpful to the investigation is asked to contact IHIT or Crime Stoppers.

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