Reward offered in homicide investigation

Mill operator Mike Gogo describes Hein as 'hard-working,' offers $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The RCMP have determined that the death of 76-year-old Yellow Point resident Kenneth Hein was the result of a homicide, an RCMP press release reports.

As of Monday, May 27, the investigation remains “very active,” but there is nothing new to report, according to Island District RCMP Cpl. Darren Lagan.

Hein’s body was discovered in his home on Wagon Wheel Trail Thursday, May 16, and his death was deemed suspicious following a preliminary investigation.

RCMP later reported — via a press release issued by Lagan Tuesday, May 21 — that Hein’s death was, in fact, a homicide,

Officers from the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit, the Ladysmith RCMP, and the Island District General Investigation Service continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Hein’s death, and Hein’s residence would remain cordoned off by police tape until the completion of a forensic autopsy.

The B.C. Coroners Service has been working with investigators to confirm a cause and time of death.

“We have made significant progress over the last five days, and our investigators are confident they will solve this case,” Lagan wrote. “Based on the evidence and information we have gathered to date, we do not believe there is an increased risk to public safety.”

Hein, who ran a small private trucking business, was liked by his neighbours and was known as someone who was friendly and helpful.

Mike Gogo, a Nanaimo cedar mill operator, has offered a reward of $10,000 for the capture of a suspect if Hein’s death proved to be the result of foul play.

“I’ve known him for a long time and he was just a hard-working guy,” Gogo said. “I mean, he’s 76 and still running his gravel truck.”

Gogo said Hein had periods of bad luck throughout his life, which included the death of his wife in 2011.

“He was a good guy,” Gogo said. “He always tried to please everybody and do what he could.”

The RCMP expressed its appreciation for the support and cooperation it has received from the public and asked that anyone with information related to the RCMP’s ongoing investigation, contact the Ladysmith RCMP at 250-245-2215 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.   — With files from Chris Bush