Murdered Victoria realtor 'intentionally targeted'

Victoria, B.C. — From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Flowers at the murder scene at 1702 De Sousa Place in Victoria, BC, where 24-year-old real estate agent Lindsay Buziak's body was found February 2009. (Deddeda Stemler/Deddeda Stemler/ The Globe and Mail)

Saanich police have revealed more evidence suggesting that the murder of realtor Lindsay Buziak was a carefully planned crime carried out by attackers who specifically targeted the 24-year ReMax agent.

At a press conference Tuesday marking the second anniversary of her death, police said Ms. Buziak's killers used a cellphone purchased in Vancouver to set up an appointment with Ms. Buziak at the Saanich home where she was killed.

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Police have determined that the cellphone was purchased under the name Paulo Rodriguez, an alias that investigators believe was "used as a diversion," and brought to Vancouver Island from the Lower Mainland in the 24 hours before Ms. Buziak's death.

"The phone was purchased in Vancouver and used exclusively for this crime," said Saanich Police sergeant Julie Fast. "She was intentionally targeted, intentionally lured to the house and intentionally killed."

A year ago, Saanich police revealed that Ms. Buziak's murder was a targeted killing, but provided few details.

The 24-year-old ReMax agent was found dead inside a Saanich house around 6 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2008, shortly after arriving to meet a couple who had set up an appointment to view the home.

Police said Tuesday they are convinced the couple, a tall, well-dressed Caucasian man and a Caucasian woman between 35-40 years old, wearing a distinctive pink, black and white cocktail dress, are responsible for Ms. Buziak's murder.

However, investigators have yet to identify the two individuals.

Sgt. Fast described Ms. Buziak as a young woman just starting out in life who was "not a criminal" and "not inviting any danger toward herself."

Members of Ms. Buziak's family were on hand to announce a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of their daughter's killer, money that includes contributions from as well as the Greater Victoria Real Estate Board and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Police said Ms. Buziak arrived at 1702 De Sousa Place in Saanich around 5:30 p.m. on the night of her murder, and that shortly afterward witnesses saw a man and a woman enter the home.

Ms. Buziak's boyfriend, Jason Zailo, who had made arrangements to meet her at the house, arrived with a friend around 6 p.m. to find the doors locked, Ms. Buziak's vehicle parked out front, and her shoes visible in the foyer of the house

Alarmed by the circumstances, Mr. Zailo called 911, but before police arrived he and the other man had "gained entry" to the house and discovered Ms. Buziak's body in an upstairs bedroom, Sgt. Fast said.

Sgt. Fast said Tuesday Mr. Zailo has been ruled out as a suspect and declined to provide details about any other "persons of interest" that investigators have identified.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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