Syrian refugee Ibrahim Ali, 28, has been charged with first degree murder of Marrisa Shen, 13.
Her body was found in Burnaby’s Central Park a few hours after she was reported missing.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said the child murder was random.
There’s no evidence of any previous interaction between Marrisa and Ali who moved to Canada 17 months ago.
He arrived as a refugee from Syria and had been living in Burnaby.
“Marrisa’s body was located within hours after she was reported missing on July 18, 2017. Her death was deemed a random act, launching a massive police response and engaging more than 300 resources from different RCMP detachments and specialized units, as well as the City of Burnaby.”
“This case has become IHIT’s largest active investigation and one of the team’s largest files since forming in 2003, with over 2,300 investigative tasks undertaken by more than 300 resources at the height of the investigation,” a top IHIT officer said.
“To date, investigators have canvassed more than 1,300 residents in the area surrounding Central Park, conducted over 600 interviews, identified and subsequently eliminated over 2,000 persons of interest, and reviewed more than 1,000 hours of video footage from over 60 locations in the vicinity. The Marrisashen.org website has also generated approximately 80,000 visits.”
“IHIT and our many partners worked tirelessly for over a year to find answers and to bring justice for the random killing of 13-year-old Marrisa Shen. This investigation called upon a great deal of resources and long hours for everyone involved,” said Superintendent Donna Richardson, Officer-in-Charge of IHIT.
“The successful outcome in this investigation was a result of the diligence, unwavering commitment and relentless pursuit of justice from all of our investigators.”
“This incident has had a profound impact on our community and I hope that this arrest helps Marrisa’s family and the community in their healing process,” said Chief Superintendent Deanne Burleigh, Officer-in-Charge of Burnaby RMCP.
Ibrahim Ali is being held in-custody until his next court appearance on September 14, 2018.
“We still believe that this crime was a random act, meaning Marrisa did not know the suspect and vice versa. Beyond that, as far as a motive is concerned and some of the details concerning our operational techniques in identifying persons of interests or confirming suspects,” said Richardson.
“We have spoken with Marrisa’s family about these recent developments and continue to provide them with support. Our commitment to them has not waivered and we know their loss remains extremely difficult to understand. Please continue to be respectful of their wishes for privacy.”
During the investugation:
• 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 subsequently eliminated
• 1,000 plus hours of video footage, collected from over 60 locations have been reviewed
• The Marrisashen.org website has generated approximately 80,000 visits to date
Marissa’s heart- broken family said : “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for all of their ongoing support and concern for us in this past year.
“We are aware that so many people reached out to the police to provide information and we were so grateful for that.”
“We would also like to thank the media for all of their attention to Marrisa’s case. Lastly, we would like to thank the police for all their hard work and specifically IHIT for their perseverance.”
“We hope that justice will now be served and that Marrisa can finally be at peace in heaven.”