Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Suspect arrested, charged in fatal stabbing of Vancouver chef

A single charge of second degree murder has been brought forth.
Wataru Kakiuchi died June 5 after being stabbed in Vancouver's Chinatown. One man has been charged in the case.

One man has been arrested and charged in the death of Wataru Kakiuchi, a popular chef at a Vancouver restaurant.

Timothy Isborn, 32, faces a single charge of second-degree murder in Kakiuchi's death. He is currently in police custody.

Kakiuchi, also 32, was found, stabbed, on Union Street near Main Street at 3:30 a.m. on June 5. Emergency crews tried to save him, but he died before they could get him to a hospital, according to the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

Kakiuchi, who was originally from Japan, worked at the Yaletown restaurant Hapa Izakaya. The restaurant shut down temporarily after Kakiuchi's death.

Hapa Izakaya recently shared photos of Kakiuchi on Instagram. 

"Your joyful spirit touched our hearts and brought endless happiness. Your memory will forever be cherished and missed," reads the caption from the restaurant.

"Rest in peace Wataru."

On June 12, the VPD announced Isborn had been arrested on June 10 in the Downtown Eastside.

“Evidence gathered by our investigators, along with information from the public, was integral to us making this arrest,” says Sgt. Steve Addison.

Investigators don't believe the two men knew each other, according to the VPD, and a motive has not been determined. The investigation is ongoing.

"We don't believe they knew each other prior to the murder," said Addison during a VPD press conference. "However, we're still working to determine what the specific motive was.

A court date has been set for June 20. It appears to be the first criminal charge against Isborn in B.C. and Addison said he hadn't had extensive interactions with the VPD previously. Police believe he came from Alberta several years ago.

During the press conference Addison noted that the identification and apprehension of Kakiuchi's attacker was the highest priority for the VPD.

"We're pleased that we were able to make this arrest quickly, to identify the suspect and take him into custody," Addison said. "And hopefully to restore some comfort and sense of safety in a community that was very rightly on edge as a result of this."

This story has been updated with additional information from a VPD press conference.