Is there a connection between a B.C. fugitive who evaded police for more than a year, and the murder of two Surrey men whose bodies were found in the interior?
That’s the question being asked after the alias “Ryan Provencher” appeared on newly-unsealed court documents related to Brandon Teixeira’s extradition back to Canada.
Teixeira, the suspect in a 2017 Surrey murder, was taken into police custody Sunday, after U.S. Marshals tipped off police in Oroville, Calif. that he was hiding out in the area.
Ryan Provencher, 38, and Richard Scurr, 37, were found dead on Aug. 17, 2019 in a rural area north of Spences Bridge. RCMP said circumstances at the scene suggested they died as a result of “criminal behaviour.”
The pair had last been seen on July 17 in Surrey, driving a white 2019 Jeep Cherokee. The vehicle was located near Logan Lake on July 21.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) would not confirm or deny whether it was investigating a connection between Teixeira and the men’s deaths.
“In order to protect the integrity of the investigation and because this matter is currently before the court, IHIT cannot make further comment,” said Sgt. Frank Jang in an email.
The RCMP’s Southeast District Major Crime Unit, which is investigating Provencher and Scurr’s deaths, said the investigation was ongoing, but would not comment further.
It’s not clear whether the Teixeira knew Provencher.
Extradition documents filed in U.S. court allege that in the commission of the 2017 murder, Teixeira rented a Jeep under his roommate’s name, whose identity was listed only as “R.P.”
Police would not confirm if R.P. was Ryan Provencher but a driver’s license is required to rent a vehicle and Teixeira and Ryan Provencher share a striking physical resemblance.
Those documents also suggest the murder with which Teixeira has been charged may have been partially motivated by a $160,000 contract on the victim’s head.
IHIT have refused to confirm whether Teixeira was being investigated as a contract killer, or whether he was under investigation for any other homicides.
Another possibility, according to Vancouver-based immigration lawyer Aleksandar Stojicevic, is that Teixeira may have stolen Provencher’s identity, to either cross into the U.S., book a hotel room or rent a car.
He said the two men also could have had an agreement to use the identity with permission.
A recent report in the Vancouver Sun also suggests the two men had at least one Facebook friend in common, an alleged B.C. drug smuggler named Ricky Korasak.
Police set about the hunt for Teixeira with an unusual intensity, establishing a $55,000 reward and travelling to Alberta, where he was believed to have contacts, to spread the message.
Investigators even sent a warning message to food delivery app SkipTheDishes to warn delivery drivers that Teixeira may have been ordering takeout while he was in hiding.
Teixeira remains in custody in Sacramento, Calif., awaiting his next extradition hearing.
His court-appointed U.S. lawyer says he has requested to be returned to Canada as quickly as possible.
-With files from Sarah MacDonald