A five-year-old is dead after a family member allegedly set fire to a home in Surrey, B.C., and left the child inside after a stabbing late Monday.
RCMP officers were initially called to the house on 94 Avenue around 9:15 p.m. to help a woman who had been stabbed.
A statement said the woman, 42, had escaped the house and phoned police, but the child remained in the home.
The man believed to have stabbed the woman then set the home on fire, according to police. The suspect left the home in a red Subaru before officers arrived.
The fire engulfed much of the home.
"After Surrey Fire was able to extinguish the fire, very sadly, the child was located deceased inside the home. We do have further investigating to do to determine how that child died," RCMP Sgt. Elenore Sturko told CBC.
The family home is located at the edge of a cul-de-sac in the Guildford neighbourhood of Surrey. Firefighters and RCMP officers remained on scene Tuesday as crime scene tape surrounded the property.
Police said the suspect and victims were related and that the incident is believed to have been a case of domestic violence.
"All the people who were involved in this tragedy are part of a family unit," Sturko said.
"We realize this is a very heartbreaking incident and a lot of people, including first responders, are feeling the impact of this incident," she continued. "Particularly when we're dealing with an incident like this and we're talking about the death of a child, someone that's only five, it's very upsetting.
"We're wanting to encourage anyone who is struggling with the news to reach out to their health-care provider. We express our condolences to the families of everyone who was involved in this incident."
Suspect presumed dead
Sturko said there weren't any other children inside the house. The woman remains in hospital with serious injuries.
RCMP found the suspect's car later Monday on the Port Mann Bridge, which connects Surrey to Coquitlam over the Fraser River. Investigators believe the man is now dead.
Officers with the Coquitlam RCMP continue to search the river for the man on Tuesday, the statement said.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is working with the Surrey RCMP to "get the final answers and what led up to this tragedy," Sturko said.