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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 Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) are calling the double-homicide on Chilliwack Lake Road an “isolated incident between neighbours.”

Police stated soon after the shootings that there was no risk to public safety.

Both the 83-year-old murder suspect and the two victims found dead in a residence in a strata trailer park Sept. 13 on Chilliwack Lake Road.

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

On September 14, 2023, the suspect, now identified as 83-year old Robert Freeman of Chilliwack, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

It is not clear yet what the motive was for the shootings.

“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.”

IHIT is asking any witnesses to contact the IHIT Information Line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at

The murder suspect Robert Freeman named in this investigation bears the same name as former Chilliwack Progress reporter Robert Freeman, who passed away 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 the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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