Vernon News

Police say no suspects in 'random' homicide of 13-year-old girl at Burnaby park

RCMP Cpl. Daniela Panesar places a photo of Marissa Shen, 13, next to a map indicating where her body was found in Central Park, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Wednesday July 19, 2017. RCMP say the death of a 13-year-old girl found in a park in a Vancouver suburb was a random attack. Marissa Shen's body was found in some brush in Burnaby's Central Park on July 19.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

BURNABY, B.C. - The homicide of a 13-year-old girl found dead in a suburban Vancouver park involved a random attack, police say.

Cpl. Meghan Foster of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said Wednesday there are no suspects in the death of Marrisa Shen.

Her body was discovered in some brush at Central Park in Burnaby on July 19.

Police have not revealed how the teen died, but Foster said no other acts of violence have been linked to the case.

Shen was to start high school in the fall.

Few details about her death have been released, but police have said the girl was spotted around 6 p.m. on July 18, when she was recorded on surveillance video leaving an apartment building.

Shen's family has been devastated by her sudden death, Foster said.

"The family is in pain. They're suffering the loss of their daughter, their sister. And they're learning to cope in these hard times."

The case has been a "crushing blow" to the entire community, said RCMP Supt. Chuck McDonald.

"It is very difficult to make sense of," he said. "As a parent of two daughters I cannot begin to imagine the impact and the terrible toll this has had on Marrisa's family. This incident has shaken us all."

Police have been patrolling Central Park on bicycles and on foot since Shen's body was found and residents are being asked to stay vigilant about their personal safety, McDonald said.

Officers have received a number of tips but are still looking for any photos or video taken in the park between 6 p.m. on July 18 and 1 a.m. the following morning.

People may think their photos, videos or other information is insignificant, but anything could be important to the investigation, Foster said.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Marrisa Shen's first name and said 1 a.m. on July 18.

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