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Heartbreaking testimony in Burnaby murder trial: mother recalls last days with daughter

The mother of a 13-year-old girl found dead at a Burnaby park in 2017 took the stand at Ibrahim Ali’s murder trial in Vancouver Wednesday.
Tri-City News file photo

The mother of a 13-year-old girl found dead in a Burnaby park six years ago sobbed as she told the jury at a murder trial how she had bought clothes for her daughter shortly before her death.

“She never got to use any of them before she’s gone,” the woman said through a Mandarin interpreter.

The girl’s mother took the stand at the trial of Ibrahim Ali in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver Wednesday afternoon.

Ali is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver for first-degree murder in the girl’s death.

Her body was found in Central Park in the early morning hours of July 19, 2017, less than two hours after her family reported her missing.

Ali has pleaded not guilty.

Neither the victim nor her mother can be identified because of a publication ban.

The girl’s mother broke down in tears a number of times as Crown prosecutor Isobel Keeley asked her questions about life with her daughter in their apartment near Central Park in the summer of 2017.

The woman spoke of taking the young teen swimming and ice skating.

At one point, the mother pulled up a video on her cellphone of a girl ice skating and cried as she turned it towards the jury.

She said she had taken her daughter ice skating on July 10, eight days before she went missing.

Two days before the young girl’s death, they had gone on a trip to Joffre Lakes with one of the girl’s friends, the mother said.

The mother said she never saw her daughter drinking alcohol or using drugs and that she had never seen her with a boy or an adult man.

The girl did not leave the apartment after dark, according to her mother.

The Crown’s theory is that the girl and Ali were strangers to each other and that he attacked her in Central Park, dragged her into the forest and strangled her during the course of sexually assaulting her.

The mother’s testimony is expected to continue Thursday.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
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