Police in Surrey, B.C., taped off the Newton Arena parking lot after Julie Paskall was attacked while waiting to pick up her son on Dec. 29, 2013. She died in hospital two days later. CBC
A 27-year-old man who moved to B.C. from Ontario last fall has been charged with second-degree murder in the December 2013 attack that killed 53-year-old Surrey hockey mom Julie Paskall.
Supt. Kevin Hackett, speaking on behalf of the Lower Mainland's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), said Yosef Jomo Gopaul was arrested in Surrey at 3:15 p.m. PT Friday afternoon.
"I personally met with and spoke with Julie's husband, Al, yesterday and let him know of this development," Hackett said, addressing a press conference Saturday afternoon. "We must now prepare for the court process."
Paskall was brutally assaulted in the parking lot of the Newton Arena while waiting to pick up her teenage son, Cailean, who was refereeing a hockey game the night of Dec. 29 last year.
She was taken to hospital where she was put on life support but she died days later, on New Year's Eve.
At the time, police described the attack as a robbery gone wrong.
Hackett confirmed that Gopaul has a previous criminal record outside British Columbia, and that he moved to Surrey from Ontario approximately eight weeks before Paskall's death.
IHIT identified Gopaul as a potential suspect approximately one month after the attack, Hackett said.
Gopaul is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday in Surrey.
Al Paskall expressed gratitude for the assistance everyone in the community has provided to the investigation, and to the family, but said the family is still deeply hurting.
"We do truly appreciate that an individual has been charged with Julie's death," he said. "While this is very important, it does not bring her back. She is deeply missed, and this has been an extremely difficult time for our family."
Google Map: Newton Arena