05/24/2014 05:40 EDT | Updated 05/26/2014 12:59 EDT

Yosef Jomo Gopaul Charged With Julie Paskall Murder


Almost five months after a mother of three was attacked outside an arena in Surrey, B.C., a 27-year-old man has been charged with second degree murder in her death.

Yosef Jomo Gopaul was arrested Friday in Surrey, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said in a news conference.

Last December, Julie Paskall, 53, was waiting to pick up her teenage son after he refereed a minor hockey game when she was randomly attacked in an apparent robbery. She died in hospital two days later on New Year's Eve.

Gopaul was identified as a suspect a month into the investigation, said IHIT Supt. Kevin Hackett on Saturday. Police said they reviewed about 1,000 hours of video and "countless hours of physical surveillance."

Gopaul has a criminal history outside of B.C., and had moved from Ontario eight weeks before the alleged murder, Hackett said.

Three years ago, a man named Yosef Jomo Gopaul was charged with aggravated sexual assault in Ontario for attacking a woman on New Year's Day, according to CityNews.

Al Paskall, Julie's husband of 34 years, spoke briefly at the news conference:

“She is deeply missed. This has been an extremely difficult time for our family. We can never thank all you people enough, for what went on here. We have suffered an unthinkable loss, please leave us alone and let us have some privacy so we can get back to some normalcy in our lives."

Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy, who described himself as a "hockey dad" and former coach, spoke of how the crime shook countless people: "Julie’s death not only had a devastating impact on her family and friends, the community of Newton, the City of Surrey, but also the hockey community across the country."

Paskall was a longtime hockey volunteer.

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