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Port Alberni senior was killed: RCMP

Jan 17 2012

Port Alberni RCMP say the 75-year-old man found dead in his home Friday was the victim of a homicide.

The body of Mervin Edmund Hankins was discovered at his home at 3544 Fourth Ave. by a relative about 10: 15 p.m., police say.

The home and alley behind the house are encircled by yellow police tape. Investigators, including forensic specialists, continue to work the scene.

RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jen Allan said Monday she could not release the cause of death or speak to whether investigators found a weapon or noticed signs of forced entry.

Police still don't know when exactly when Hankins was killed, Allan said.

Neighbours did not call police to report any suspicious noises or activities, she said.

"Our members are canvassing the neighbourhood, speaking to any known associates of the deceased in order to get more information about this death," she said.

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit, which handles most homicides on the Island, has not been called to assist with the case.

RCMP would not say whether they have any suspects. An autopsy is set for this week in Vancouver.

Investigators are looking at any possible connection to a home invasion on Jan. 8 on the 2800 block of Sixth Avenue.

A man walked into the home of 83-year-old-man Reino Koivunen, assaulted him and stole his wallet.

"We haven't established a link at this point, but certainly our investigators are considering the two incidents," Allan said.