BREAKING: Langley grow-op murder victim from Tsawwassen
A 21-year-old Tsawwassen man has been identified as the victim of a murder which took place at a Fernridge home in Langley last week also containing a marijuana grow operation.
South Delta Baptist Church pastor Paul Johnson confirmed that his son, Taylor Daniel Johnson, is the murder victim.
Johnson said investigators have told him that his son was house-sitting and was simply "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Johnson said he doesn't know the details of his son's death and that police have not released the information to the family.
He added that police have nevertheless been kind to his family during this time and that Delta Police Chief Jim Cessford is visiting today (March 4) to offer comfort and support.
Johnson moved with his wife Wendi and six children to Tsawwassen from Tucson, Arizona, about five and a half years ago.
Taylor Johnson was an avid sports enthusiast, playing rugby at South Delta Secondary when he attended there, and previously at Tucson High in Arizona. He also enjoyed snowboarding, ice hockey and baseball.
"He was the kind of kid that was really well-liked by all of his friends," said Johnson. "He was a very endearing, very soft-hearted kid."
Taylor was currently attending the Nimbus School of Recording Arts to pursue a career in music and was due to graduate this month.
"He worked at the church part-time as a janitor, just being a typical 21-year-old trying to do odd jobs and so forth," said Johnson.
Police investigators have told Johnson that the people they have interviewed have all spoken highly of Taylor's character.
Rick Burdett, senior associate pastor of South Delta Baptist Church, said Taylor was well-loved by a wide range of people.
"Everybody who knew him liked him," he said. "He was gentle, kind, he was very considerate."
Burdett said pastor Johnson will now take a leave from his regular church duties to grieve but will return for Easter services.
"It's been very traumatic for our church community, and the community at large," he said. "I mean, it's just a shocking thing."
Homicide investigators were called to a Fernridge home around 10 p.m. last Tuesday (Feb. 26) in the 2000 block of 200 Street to check on the well-being of a man who was staying at the residence.
Police found a deceased man and a grow-op inside the rural home.
A press release issued by IHIT on Monday (March 4) said Taylor does not possess a criminal record and that the investigation has revealed he was a caretaker for the vacant property where he was murdered.
An autopsy has been conducted but the cause of death is not being released.
A neighbour of the home where Taylor was murdered who identified herself as Mandy said a “Troy” lived at the home, which also contains a large barn in the back.
She had no idea a grow-op was next door. However, she did note that the man living next door didn’t appear to work and was always home.
“But there wasn’t cars coming and going from the home,” Mandy said.
“Troy is a very nice guy,” she said. “He would call me if my dogs got out.”
Her neighbour has a border collie and police weren’t commenting on the whereabouts of a dog living at that home.
Mandy said her neighbour appears to be in his late 40s or early 50s.
A funeral service for Taylor Johnson will take place this Sunday, March 10, at 3 p.m. at South Delta Baptist Church (1988 56th St., Tsawwassen).
—with files from Monique Tamminga, Langley Times