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Double-homicide near Chilliwack called ‘isolated incident between neighbours’

IHIT IDs 2 victims in attempt to advance murder investigation in strata trailer park
John Kavaloff, 58, and 67-year old Valerie Smith of Chilliwack were the victims of a double homicide on Sept. 14, 2023. Suspect 83-year-old Robert Freeman of Chilliwack was charged with two counts of second-degree murder. (RCMP handout)

Investigators with the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) called the Sept. 13 double-homicide on Chilliwack Lake Road an “isolated incident between neighbours.”

An 83-year-old murder suspect was taken into custody, and charged.

IHIT also asked any witnesses to call their information line, after they released photos of the victims, along with their identities, in the hopes more witnesses might come forward.

Police went public soon after the shootings with the statement that there was “no risk” to public safety.

The two victims were found dead in a residence on Chilliwack Lake Road.

The deceased were identified as John Kavaloff, 58, and Valerie Smith, 67 of Chilliwack. IHIT officials said they were releasing the names “in the hopes of advancing the investigation.”

Robert Freeman, 83, of Chilliwack, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder on Sept. 14.

“This appears to be an isolated incident between neighbours,” says IHIT spokesman Sgt. Timothy Pierotti. “We’re asking anyone with information regarding this incident, to please contact IHIT immediately.”

There is no information on what the motive was for the shootings.

The IHIT info line is at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or email

The murder suspect Robert Freeman named in this investigation bears the same name, but believed to be no relation to former Chilliwack Progress reporter Robert Freeman, who died in 2019 in Ontario.

RELATED: 2 dead, 1 in custody after homicide on Chilliwack Lake Road

Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering city hall, Indigenous, business, and climate change stories.
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