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Vancouver Island man faces murder charge in death of former Dufferin patron

A Vancouver Island man has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of a 65-year-old former patron of the Dufferin Hotel, which closed last year.

Bill Merchant’s body was found on the evening of Jan 11 in his suite in the 900 block of Richards St.

Charged is 30-year-old Aaron Juhani Yliruusi of Vancouver Island who was arrested by Comox Valley RCMP in the days following the murder, the second of the year in Vancouver.

Police could not confirm if Yliruusi and Merchant knew each other, but say early indications are that the killing was a targeted one.

Reports say Merchant had been sharing the Richards St suite with a 21-year-old man and had been out for dinner with friends before his body was found.

The phone number for the address is out of service.

Yliruusi is expected to make a first appearance in Vancouver court Feb 10.