Amandeep Bath was shot in Surrey 13 years ago, leaving his mother 'frozen' in grief awaiting justice, but now two men are set to be sentenced in the killing after changing their pleas to guilty.
Parminder Singh Basran pleaded guilty to manslaughter in B.C. Provincial Court in New Westminster and Bhabjit Singh Aujla pleaded guilty to assault on March 3.
Their sentencing is set for April 13.
The new pleas promise some closure to the first file taken on by the newly formed Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) cold case unit in 2012.
Bath was not known to police and had no criminal record.
"Mr. Bath was described as a very gentle individual, a very nice person and he didn't have any history with the police," said IHIT spokesperson Cpl. Meghan Foster.
"It's been a very long journey," said the victim's cousin, 28-year-old Harp Khela.
"It's difficult to even gauge how we feel...at least we're leaning towards some sort of justice."
Bath called 911 and drove away.
He was followed and stopped near the 9100 block of 125th Street in Surrey — where he was found shot.
But the case remained a mystery for years.
Frozen by grief
"It never really came out what the reason was [for his murder]. I don't know what the real reason was," said Khela, describing Bath as a quiet, hardworking accounting student who was the only child of a single mother.
"I mean if you go to Amandeep's house, it's still the way he left it. His bedroom is still the way he left it. His mom was a single mother ... her life just froze from that day forward."
The young man's death left a void in his close-knit family, said friends.
"He was the oldest one, so he was the one all of us looked up to," said Khela.
"Amandeep was innocent. Just living his life and then all of a sudden this happened to him."
Khela describes the last 13 years as a roller coaster of emotions for the Bath family.
The two accused men pleaded not guilty back in 2013.
"We couldn't believe it," said Khela.
"They stayed quiet all of these years thinking they got away with it. At least now we have a guilty plea."