Police now say Marrisa Shen was alive at 7:38 p.m. the night she was killed
Undated image of Marrisa Shen taken from a Facebook tribute video posted after the teen’s death. (Screengrab/Facebook)
New surveillance video obtained by police show Marrisa Shen was alive 5 1/2 hours before her body was discovered in Burnaby’s Central Park on July 19.
Cpl. Meghan Foster of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said police are going through more than 1,000 hours of video from 60 locations, but cops can now narrow the timeline into her whereabouts before she was killed.
Police said video shows the 13-year-old walking just two blocks from the park where she was later murdered. Cops say Shen is in the video on the south side of Central Boulevard walking westbound and crossing McKay Avenue at 7:38 p.m. She is walking alone, not far from Metrotown.
Police didn’t release the video because it’s very poor quality, Foster said, but in it Shen is wearing the same clothes she was wearing in a previously released video of her leaving her Burnaby home at 6:02 p.m. on July 18.
“The memory or picture we’d like people to refer to is what’s already been provided,” she explained. “In my experience with recognition evidence ... we offer the best video available. We don’t want to clear the minds of people who may or may not have seen her. It should be clearcut.”
Shen’s family reported her missing at about 11 p.m. on July 18. Her brother later told Postmedia News that police used GPS to track Shen’s phone and discovered her body while searching a wooded area.
Foster called the probe into the teen’s death a “massive investigation” and said cops have identified more than 90 persons of interest — “a person of interest is anyone with information that will further our investigation” — and are following up on 200 tips.
Police also asked for video and photos from the media and public from a vigil held for Shen on July 22 in Central Park and from her funeral at Mountain View Cemetery on July 28. Foster said police “don’t know” if the girl’s killer attended either event, but said investigators are trying to find more persons of interest.
“Because of the attention (the murder’s) drawn, it’s something we’d be remiss to not ask for,” she added. “We know there are a lot of freelance videographers out there. Those are people we’re trying to reach as well. We’re asking for anyone who might have taken video.”
Police believe Shen’s killing was random.
“Was she the intended target? We can’t say that at this time,” Foster said.
She said that while Shen did frequent the park, at this point suggesting her routines might have played a role in the murder would purely be speculation.
“She was a kid doing kid things,” Foster said.
Shen’s brother, Peter Shen, 24, has said that his sister was like a “breath of fresh air” to his family. Originally, he said, his parents had planned on having just one child, but they worried that “when they were gone, I’d be alone.” Shen said he and Marrisa were supposed to be “partners in life.”
“She was the shining beacon that heralded the end of my loneliness in this world,” Peter said in the eulogy for his sister at her funeral. “I knew that even if I had lost everyone in this world, I would have one person to have my back. It was Marrisa and me together, against this world.”
— With files from Patrick Johnston