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Body found in Howe Sound

Sylvie Paillardspaillard@squamishchief.comThe co-owner of a Taco Del Mar that was firebombed in Vancouver last week was found dead in the Howe Sound early Friday (Feb. 15).

Sylvie Paillardspaillard@squamishchief.comThe co-owner of a Taco Del Mar that was firebombed in Vancouver last week was found dead in the Howe Sound early Friday (Feb. 15). The discovery comes a day after the family listed the victim a missing person.On Thursday (Feb. 14), Squamish RCMP received a bulletin from Surrey police regarding missing 42 year-old woman, Manjeet Kaur Nandha. The victim was not linked to the Squamish Taco Del Mar.Squamish RCMP patrols located a 1999 Nissan Pathfinder belonging to Nandha on Highway 99 between Furry Creek and Porteau Cove. A search involving Lower Mainland police dog service and the RCMP helicopter located Nandha's body in the waters of Howe Sound close to shore near Porteau at around 5:30 a.m. Friday.Nandha allegedly left a suicide with her family stating she couldn't bear the suspicion police cast upon her and her family in the firebombing of her business on Vancouver's West Broadway Avenue Wednesday (Feb. 13). Investigators say a fire was set in the Vancouver restaurant and a gallon of gas caused the explosion. Vancouver Police Department arson investigators are now liaising with the Squamish RCMP on the matter."A gallon of gas is quite huge in this sort of thing," said RCMP Cpl. Dave Ritchie, who has been discussing the incident with arson specialist Det. Rodger Shepard. Police say the suspect took cabs to a hospital after the explosion. He was recorded on surveillance video near the scene and in the cabs and is in hospital with burns over 40 percent of his body. He is now facing charges of arson and endangering life. No one was hurt in the blast, other than the suspect.Ritchie said police won't be able to interview the suspect for as long as two months while he recovers from his burns since Charter Rights prohibit police interrogation on a person in pain."He's got a lot to explain," said Ritchie. "But he could just 'Well I was suffering and I wanted them out of my room so I just told them what they wanted.'"Results of an autopsy on Nandha's body scheduled for Monday (Feb. 18) were not available at press time. RCMP probe cause of fatal Highway 99 crashA three-vehicle motor vehicle crash on Highway 99 claimed the life of a San Diego woman and left motorists stranded for about five hours on either side of the scene Friday (Feb. 15) .RCMP Cpl. Dave Ritchie said it was foggy when the crash occurred on at 4:45 p.m. There was slush beside the road's driving lanes, he said, but police have not determined whether weather or road conditions contributed to the crash."We're still trying to determine the cause of the crash and whether any charges are warranted," said Ritchie.The crash occurred just south of the Culliton Creek Bridge, also known as the Big Orange Bridge. It involved a southbound passenger vehicle and school bus carrying Surrey students and a northbound limousine.Darcy Balcomb, 40, of San Diego, was killed when a vehicle smashed into the limousine in which she and her family were travelling. Her spouse and two children, aged eight and 12, were treated for injuries at Squamish General Hospital and released. -With files from David Burke, Whistler Question

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