Man dumped body twice af­ter drugs killed friend

Har­man­jit Singh’s body found in creek

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - MOLLY HAYES

Af­ter his teenage friend over­dosed and died, Dash­min­der Deol first Googled how to pump his stom­ach — and then how much his sil­ver neck­lace was worth.

Deal, 38, has pleaded guilty to in­dig­nity to hu­man re­mains in re­la­tion to the Oc­to­ber 2014 death of his friend, 19-year-old Har­man­jit Singh — a lesser charge than the man­slaugh­ter charge he’d also ini­tially faced.

For the first time Fri­day, de­tails of the teen’s sus­pi­cious death — and the cal­lous dis­posal of his body — were fi­nally re­vealed in court.

Singh, an in­ter­na­tional stu­dent from In­dia, died of a drug over­dose — a lethal com­bi­na­tion of co­caine and Fen­tanyl, a pow­er­ful painkiller pre­scribed to Deol — early on Oct. 27, 2014.

Ac­cord­ing to the agreed state­ment of facts, he and Deol had been hang­ing out at a Han­non Cres­cent res­i­dence, where Deol had been house-sit­ting, when Singh vol­un­tar­ily took the drugs.

Singh had been tex­ting and videomes­sag­ing his girl­friend — who did not know about his drug use — through­out the night, say­ing good­night to her around 2 a.m.

It seems he over­dosed some­time in the next hour.

Deol — in­stead of call­ing for help — made two Google searches on his phone: “Fen­tanyl over­dose” at 2:42 a.m., fol­lowed by “pump­ing stom­ach” at 3:12 a.m.

But Singh died, and just over an hour later, Doel hauled the body to an “un­known lo­ca­tion,” us­ing a white Ford Edge SUV on loan from a friend.

In the morn­ing, when Singh failed to re­turn home, his wor­ried girl­friend con­tacted Doel. He lied and told her he’d dropped Singh off at a strip-mall restau­rant across from their place around 8 a.m.

That af­ter­noon, as she and Singh’s fam­ily fran­ti­cally tried to track him down, Doel was Googling “cur­rent price of sil­ver per ounce” and “cash for gold park­dale.”

This, court heard, was in re­la­tion to a thick sil­ver chain neck­lace Singh had been wear­ing when he died.

Deol and a woman then went to a Wal­mart on Bar­ton Street East that even­ing to pick up clean­ing sup­plies.

The next day, now Oct. 28, Singh’s girl­friend re­ported him miss­ing to po­lice. Deol was in­ter­viewed, and re­peated the story about drop­ping Singh off at the restau­rant, adding that he’d men­tioned a plan to go to Toronto.

Early on Oct. 29, Deol — with the help of an “uniden­ti­fied male” — trans­ported Singh’s body from the ini­tial un­known lo­ca­tion to a cul­vert on Seabreeze Cres­cent in Stoney Creek, again us­ing the Ford SUV.

The next day, he gave the SUV back to his friend.

For al­most a month — as po­lice in­ves­ti­gated the dis­ap­pear­ance and Deol con­tin­ued to play dumb about his where­abouts — the body stayed there, de­cay­ing.

On Nov. 24, a woman walk­ing her dog dis­cov­ered the par­tially sub­merged and badly de­com­posed body. Singh’s fam­ily — in­clud­ing his fa­ther who’d trav­elled from In­dia — was un­able to iden­tify him. He had to be iden­ti­fied through DNA test­ing.

Deol was charged with man­slaugh­ter and in­dig­nity to hu­man re­mains in Fe­bru­ary 2015.

Po­lice had ex­e­cuted a search war­rant of the Ford SUV on Nov. 3 — days af­ter it had been re­turned to his friend. That re­vealed a cleanedup blood stain on the trunk car­pet, which DNA test­ing de­ter­mined was Singh’s.

On Nov. 6, an­other search war­rant was ex­e­cuted at his fam­ily home on Isaac Brock Drive in which of­fi­cers seized his cell­phone and dis­cov­ered a num­ber of pre­scrip­tion drugs.

That search also led to the seizure of a locked safe — which po­lice would later dis­cover con­tained two re­stricted hand­guns (one loaded with the se­rial num­ber erased), ammo and a small bag of co­caine.

On Fri­day, Deol also pleaded guilty to charges of pos­ses­sion of a loaded, re­stricted firearm, pos­ses­sion of a re­stricted firearm know­ing the pos­ses­sion is unau­tho­rized, and pos­ses­sion of a firearm while pro­hib­ited (fol­low­ing a rob­bery con­vic­tion in 2012).

His brother, Gur­min­der Deol, had also faced charges in re­la­tion to the firearms seizure, but they were with­drawn Fri­day.

Deol will re­turn Aug. 5 for sen­tenc­ing.

Har­man­jit Singh died of a drug over­dose

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