Suman Virk, an anti-bullying advocate and mother of murdered Vancouver Island teen Reena Virk, died over the weekend in what her family describes as a tragic accident.
A relative confirmed to Global News that Suman Virk died on Saturday, adding that the loss has been difficult for the entire family.
READ MORE: Timeline: Reena Virk murder and the trials of Kelly Ellard
Last fall, the family marked the 20th anniversary of Reena Virk’s death. She was 14 years old when she was swarmed by several teens, beaten and drowned in 1997. Her body was found eight days later.
Kelly Ellard and Warren Glowatski were found guilty of second-degree murder in the killing.
READ MORE: Convicted killer Kelly Ellard granted temporary escorted absences from prison
The national tragedy has become a catalyst for change, sparking anti-bullying and youth violence prevention initiatives, the creation of a research centre at the University of Victoria and art created to contribute to Reena Virk’s legacy.
The Virk family has worked tirelessly in the fight against bullying, speaking at schools and community events in an effort to prevent others from being victim to bullying and violence.
A relative of Suman Virk told Global News a private service will be held in Victoria over the weekend. The family is asking for privacy at this time.
~ With files from Amy Judd and the Canadian Press