Marrisa Shen, 13, was killed in Burnaby’s Central Park in July 2017. (Police handout)

Man charged in ‘random’ death of 13-year-old Burnaby girl

Marrisa Shen was found dead in Central Park in July 2017

A 28-year-old Syrian refugee has been charged with murder after the body of a 13-year-old Burnaby girl was found in a park last summer.

Ibrahim Ali, of Burnaby, is accused of first-degree murder in connection with the slaying of Marrisa Shen in Central Park on July 18, 2017.

Ali had moved to Canada just four months before Marrisa was killed, Integrated Homicide Investigation Team Supt. Donna Richardson said Monday.

IHIT Supt. Donna Richardson speaks with reporters after announcing charges in the “random” killing of Marrisa Shen in Burnaby. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

“We still believe that this crime was a random act, meaning that Marrisa did not know the suspect,” said Richardson.

“As far as motive is concerned… I am not able to discuss those matters in order to protect our future judicial proceedings.”

IHIT Cpl. Frank Jang read out a statement from the Shen family, thanking police, the media and the public for their help in the 14 months since Marrisa’s death.

“We hope that justice will now be served and that Marrisa can finally be at peace in heaven,” Jang said.

READ MORE: Family thanks public 1 year after girl, 13, mysteriously killed in Burnaby park

READ MORE: One year later: Still no suspects in killing of 13-year-old B.C. girl

Police first became aware of Ali two weeks ago. He does not have a criminal record or evidence of mental illness and is currently a permanent resident.

He was arrested in Burnaby last Friday, after a massive investigation.

“More than 1,300 residents in the area surrounding Central Park were canvassed, over 600 interviews were conducted, over 2,000 persons of interest were identified and over 1,000 hours of video were collected from more than 60 locations,” Richardson said.

There is no evidence that religious ideology played any part in the killing, she said, adding she hoped the charge would not create backlash against the region’s refugees.

“I think by and large, our refugees who come to the country are hardworking citizens that are very happy to be in Canada,” she said.

“I would just hope that we look at this incident for what it is: a one-off situation.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Most cows saved during massive fire on Agassiz farm thanks to fast work of farmers, neighbours

Agassiz Fire Department responded to late night call Wednesday

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Chilliwack steps up to the plate and brings music and dance Provicials to town to prevent lag

Sponsors are needed to help knock the 2019 Provincials out of the park

Massive fire destroys Agassiz dairy barn

Reports say at least one cow died in the blaze

Hope arm-wrestler turned track and field star wins five medals at 55+ Games

Seven medals total coming back to Hope from golf and track and field events

VIDEO: World Rivers Day paddle down the Fraser

International day started on local waterways

LGBTQ activists, allies in Victoria counter anti-SOGI protest with rally of their own

Lower Mainland activists plan to protest SOGI on legislature lawn, Sept. 29

Cities make power play for new fiscal order with eye to 2019 federal election

Trudeau ordered Champagne to talk with provinces and territories about ways to “address the timeliness of the flow of funds” to projects.

Ottawa area residents take stock of tornado rubble as Ford tours the ruins

A tornado on Friday afternoon tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau, Que.

Trudeau arrives at United Nations, hoping to re-establish Canada on world stage

Trudeau is beginning his day at the opening of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, where he’s scheduled to deliver brief remarks later this afternoon.

B.C.’s FATSO peanut butter to appear on Dragon’s Den

The Victoria company will be featured on the Sept. 27 episode of the popular show highlighting Canadian businesses

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

Most Read