Police say Ibrahim Ali, 28, arrived in Canada just three months before Shen was found dead in a Burnaby park.
Ibrahim Ali, 28, is accused of first-degree murder, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced on Monday. Superintendent Donna Richardson, the officer in charge of IHIT, called for the public to remain calm and not make generalisations about the revelation that Ali was a refugee. China Daily
Immediately, Superintendent Donna Richardson said little about Ali, a Syrian national and permanent resident of Canada, although she agreed with a questioner that the case was “not related to religious ideology.”
Suspect charged in Marrisa Shen murder
Ibrahim Ali, 28, is accused of first-degree murder, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced on Monday. Superintendent Donna Richardson, the officer in charge of IHIT, called for the public to remain calm and not make generalisations about the revelation that Ali was a refugee.
News Vancouver, September 10, 2018:
More than a year after 13-year-old Marrisa Shen was found murdered in Burnaby’s Central Park, a suspect has been arrested and charged in the shocking crime.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team confirmed one count of first-degree murder has been approved against Ibrahim Ali, a 28-year-old Syrian national who arrived in Canada just a few months before the killing.
New evidence put Ali on investigators’ radar two weeks ago, and officers arrested him Friday in Burnaby. He remains in police custody.
Marrisa Shen, 13, is seen a previously unreleased image that was shared by police on the one-year anniversary of her murder. (Handout)
On Monday, Shen’s relatives released a statement through IHIT thanking the public for the hundreds of tips that were submitted to investigators and the police for following up on each of them.
“We hope that justice will now be served and that Marrisa can finally be at peace in heaven,” the family said.
Court records show the offence date for Ali’s charge is July 18, 2017, the last day Shen was seen alive. The teenager’s body was discovered in the early morning hours of July 19, not long after her worried family reported her missing.
The crime stunned her Burnaby community, and triggered the largest IHIT investigation undertaken since the homicide team’s inception. Supt. Donna Richardson said 2,300 investigative tasks have been completed so far in the probe, which is still ongoing.
Police announced early on that the murder appeared to be random, and Richardson said that has not changed over the last 14 months.
“We still believe that this crime was a random act, meaning that Marrisa did not know the subject and vice-versa,” she said.
“As far as motive is concerned … I am not able to discuss these matters in order to protect our future judicial proceedings.”
Though authorities have not commented on the specific circumstances of the murder, IHIT was adamant that the crime had nothing to do with religious ideology.
Ali is a permanent resident who was not known to police and does not have a criminal record.
Shen’s murder left some Burnaby residents feeling unsafe in the city’s parks, a fear local RCMP have tried to assuage through an increased police presence, including more foot patrols, bike patrols and vehicle patrols.
Burnaby RCMP Chief Supt. Deanne Burleigh said those high-visibility patrols are continuing “to ensure that everyone can continue to feel safe in our parks.”
“We’re dedicated to safety in our community,” Burleigh said.
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