Canada: Muslim refugee charged with murder of 13-year-old Vancouver schoolgirl Marrisa Shen

Canadian police have arrested a Syrian refugee and charged him with the murder of Marrisa Shen, 13, whose death horrified Vancouver when her body was found in a local park 14 months ago.

Ibrahim Ali, 28, is accused of first-degree murder, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced on Monday. Superintendent Donna Richardson, the officer in charge of IHIT, called for the public to remain calm and ‘not make generalizations’ about the revelation that Ali was a Muslim refugee.

The Syrian refugee, who arrived in the country just three months before murdering Shen, was arrested in Burnaby on Sept. 7.

Canada Muslim refugee charged with murder of 13-year-old Vancouver schoolgirl Marrisa Shen (2).jpg

Shen, the daughter of Chinese migrants, went missing on July 18, 2017. Her body was found early the next morning in Burnaby’s Central Park. Police have not revealed how she was killed, nor if she was raped.

The break in the case comes after more than a year of heartbreak for Shen’s family, who issued a thank-you statement to police, the public and the media.

“We hope that justice will finally be served and Marrisa will finally be at peace in heaven,” it read.

Police say they became aware of Ali two weeks ago based on new evidence that was recently gathered.

Canada Muslim refugee charged with murder of 13-year-old Vancouver schoolgirl Marrisa Shen (3).jpg

“I’m not going to say there was a key piece of evidence, it was culmination of a number of things,” said Richardson.

The investigation was one of the largest ever undertaken by IHIT involving 600 interviews, over a thousand hours of video footage collected and over 2000 persons of interest identified, according to Richardson.

In April, police released a criminal profile of the person believed responsible for her killing, which they called a “random act.”