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Lukas Strasser-Hird family clings to memories of murdered teen

Lukas Strasser-Hird family clings to memories of murdered teen
WATCH ABOVE: Lukas Strasser-Hird spent the final year of his life in Bolivia, with his grandfather who had terminal cancer. He returned the very day he was brutally attacked. His family is sharing memories of the teen following the verdict in the trial into his death. Nancy Hixt reports.

There aren’t many things Lukas Strasser-Hird wasn’t good at: he was an avid hockey player, and a talented piano and guitar player.

But number one in his life was family.

“Part of us has died…but we have his memories. He has left us with just wonderful memories,” said his maternal grandmother Estela Strasser, who broke down as she spoke.

Strasser-Hird was murdered Nov. 23, 2013. He was swarmed, beaten and stabbed outside of Vinyl nightclub in downtown Calgary.

Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of Lukas Strasser-Hird’s death

Strasser-Hird loved to visit his grandmother for tea, or ”tea milk” as he called it. That tradition started as a toddler, and continued until he was gone.

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“Even when he was 17, 18 years old, he would just knock at my door and say, ‘grandma do you have time for tea milk?’ That was our time together.”

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Lukas spent the first seven years of his life in Bolivia, where his maternal grandparents are from.

That’s where his mother Audrey Strasser is now, running the family business.

“Life has stopped for Audrey. He was her life. They were so close… they were best friends.”

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“She can’t face the world because she lost the most important thing in her life,” Estela Strasser said.

Strasser-Hird spent the final year of his life in Bolivia, with his grandfather who had terminal cancer. He returned the very day he was brutally attacked.

Just two months later, his grandfather passed away-never recovering from the devastating loss.

The family now clings to cherished home videos that allow brief glimpses of happiness as they watch him come to life on screen.

“He would always have this big huge smile from ear to ear…and his teeth were so white and perfect,” Estela Strasser said.

One of Strasser-Hird’s favourite people was his little sister, Julia Hird.

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“I miss him more than anything really. I miss his smile, the way he lit up the room, his eyes,” she said, her voice trailing off as she described her brother.

“I wanted to be just like him. He was my biggest role model and he still is to this day.”

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READ MORE: Jury reaches verdicts in swarming death of Calgary’s Lukas Strasser-Hird

Assmar Shlah and Franz Cabrera were found guilty of second-degree murder, Joch Pouk was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, and Jordan Liao was acquitted.

Five men charged in the swarming death of Calgary 18-year-old Lukas Strasser-Hird.
Five men charged in the swarming death of Calgary 18-year-old Lukas Strasser-Hird. Global News

A fifth man, Nathan Gervais, is accused of first-degree-murder. He went missing right before the trial, a warrant remains out for his arrest.

READ MORE: Canada-wide warrant issued for Calgary man accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death