‘He was just a child’: Families plead for information on anniversary of Surrey teens’ double murder
The families of two murdered Surrey teens have made an emotional appeal for information about the boys’ deaths.
Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the deaths of 17-year-old Jaskaran “Jesse” Bhangal and 16-year-old Jaskarn “Jason” Jhutty, who were found fatally shot in the rural 18700 block of 40th Avenue.
A burning vehicle was found in the area of 14 Street and 29A Avenue shortly afterwards, and a second burning vehicle was found that night in the area of 177 Street and 93 Avenue.
The pair was last seen alive playing basketball with a group at Georges Vanier Elementary in Surrey, and on Tuesday, Jesse’s sister pleaded with anyone who knows what happened afterwards to speak with investigators.
“We don’t know why this happened, who did it and what motive they had behind it — which are all questions that still go unanswered today. No family should have to experience this kind of heartache,” she said.
“I didn’t just lose my baby brother, I lost a piece of myself I can never get back. I lost my only sibling, and my parents lost their only son.”
Pawan Jhutti, Jason’s older sister, said the family is still trying to understand how the teen became the victim of a brutal murder.
“He was just a child. No parent should ever have to spend their life wondering what could have possibly happened in their child’s final moments,” she said.
“Someone out there knows what happened to Jason. They know why he didn’t come home.”
Police believe the boys’ deaths were targeted and linked in some way to the region’s gang conflict but reiterated that neither teen had a criminal record nor any known interactions with police.
That fact has made the mystery of the teens’ deaths even more difficult for the families to bear, Jhutti added.
“Gang violence has been a topic in our home since my brothers were in high school. Education against drugs and gangs were my parents’ number 1 concern and priority,” she said.
“Jason had no criminal record or even interactions with police. It seemed as if we were doing everything right as parents and older siblings.”
Cpl. Frank Jang with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said that police have continued to face roadblocks when dealing with people who may have information about the case.
He said police are pleading with people who they know have “intimate knowledge” of the boys’ final hours to share that information with investigators.
“It only takes one or two phone calls from the right person with the right information to further a homicide investigation. We urge anyone with information … to please come forward and help us solve the murder of two teenage boys,” Jang said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact IHIT or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.
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