A handful of people gathered in torrential rain on Saturday at noon at a makeshift memorial for Marrisa Shen, the young girl killed in Burnaby’s Central Park last year. Some brought flowers, others just spent a few minutes in silence near the site close to the Patterson SkyTrain Station that is decorated with flowers, photos and messages.
Keyan Zhuang and his daughter Lillian were there to pay their respects. Zhuang said there is some relief now that a suspect has been arrested and charged in the murder.
“After that, I feel comfort,” Zhuang said. “At least this part of the incident is over.”
The Zhuangs have lived in the Metrotown area since 2005, and they’ve usually felt it was a safe area, although Zhuang said he has explored the park and has found evidence of people living there.
He added that his wife became especially worried about their daughter after Shen’s death and texts her if she is coming home late to make sure she’s all right.
“My mom’s over-protective because I’m an only child,” Lillian said, but she added she probably would be, too, if she were a parent.
“You never expect this kind of thing to happen,” her father added.
Thirteen-year-old Shen’s body was found in the park in July 2017, but it wasn’t until this week that Ibrahim Ali was arrested as a suspect and charged with first-degree murder.