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Retired cop pleads for patience as IHIT seeks information in Shen murder

A surveillance image of Marrisa Shen is shown to the media on January 18, 2018. Shen, 13, went missing on July 18, 2017. She was later found dead in Burnaby's Central Park. (Courtesy IHIT)
Summary

Still no arrests more than six months after young girl is murdered in Burnaby park

Former police officer has faith in homicide investigators looking for an arrest in Marrisa Shen killing

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – Over six months have passed since the body of a 13-year-old girl was found in the brush in a Burnaby park and yet no one has been arrested in the random killing.

Other than releasing some new surveillance video of Marrisa Shen in the hours before she died and launching a dedicated website to the investigation, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) hasn’t said much about the case.

However, retired Delta Police Chief Jim Cessford — who spent part of his career as a homicide detective — says we shouldn’t give up hope just yet.

“They’re not going to release any information until they are absolutely sure what they have and so it’s not unusual that they’re not commenting on giving any information. It could well be they’re working on a suspect and if they’re doing that, they’re not going to share information.”

He also doesn’t think investigators have hit a roadblock in the case. “The fact that the police aren’t saying anything is not an indication in any way as to whether they do or do not have a suspect. They’re at a point in time where they’re not going to be sharing a lot of information. They could be in a real critical stage of their investigation, so I think we need to be patient.”

Shen was last seen on July 18th. Her mother reported her missing and less than two hours later, around 1 a.m. on July 19th, her body was found in Central Park. A cause of death has yet to be made public.

IHIT has identified over 1,000 people they wish to speak to in the case. “We’re speaking with people and we believe there are people that still have information about this investigation. We don’t have a suspect but we are speaking and we continue to speak to people daily about this investigation,” said Corporal Frank Jang during a police briefing on Thursday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT tipline at 1.877.551.IHIT or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.TIPS.