The charred remains found in Burnaby Park outside Vancouver has been identified as that of missing Filipina Mycel Loreto.
The body was found on March 18, one day after Loreto's family reported her missing.
Sgt. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said the Coroner's Office worked tirelessly to identify the body.
"Our victim, we believe, is Mycel Loreto. Her friends know her as Maricel or Mycel. Our partners from BC Coroner’s Service, they’ve worked incredibly hard to conclusively determine that is Mycel’s body," said Jang.
Filipino Carlo Tobias, 21, and a 15-year-old, were arrested and slapped with charges of first degree murder and indignity to human remains for Loreto's slay.
IHIT clarified that the murder of Loreto, 49, is not related to drugs or gangs.
Jang asked for the help of the Filipino community so they can piece together the whole story and motive behind the murder.
"If she confided in you, and she offered, she told you about something that’s going on in her life that’s troubling her, all that is important because that really builds the picture that we have. Background stories provide context and help shine a light on the motive of why this happened. We need the public’s help," he said.
The Filipino community is reeling from the murder of Loreto and the arrest of the suspects who police said were known to the victim.
Community leader Narima Dela Cruz said she is devastated to learn of the death of Loreto, who she described as a friend and supporter, having been a volunteer of the Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society.
Salve Dayao, another community volunteer, said Loreto used to be a regular at her bar-restaurant in New Westminster, B.C. Dayao said Loreto was a kind person who did not have a mean bone in her body.
"Never ko 'yan naringgan ng anything tsismis, anything bad about anyone. Bihira sa tao ang ganyan. Napakabait na tao. First time ko ito ma-experience na mayroon akong personal na kakilala na pinatay. The sad thing about it is ang pumatay sa kanya kababayan natin at napakababata," said Dayao.
(I never heard her gossiping or saying anything bad about anyone. That's very rare. She's a very kind person. This is the first time that someone I personally know was killed. The sad thing about it is that those who killed her were also Filipinos and still very young.)
Another close family friend who refused to be identified said she is still in shock to learn of Loreto's death.
"I need justice for my friend," she said.
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