A small group of people gathered at a park in Burnaby on Thursday, at the site where the burned remains of 49-year-old Ma Cecilia Loreto were discovered on March 18.
People placed flowers, pictures and cards in Greentree Village Park in dedication of the mother whose death has sent shockwaves through the community.
“My sister is a very good mom, she’s a very good provider,” brother Armand told Global News. He did not give his last name.
“She sings in a band and she knows a lot of people. She’s very famous in the Filipino community because she serves the community and she has a lot of friends.
“She will be dearly missed.”
Loreto, who was known by friends and family as Maricel or Mycel, also loved to dance and as a video posted online shows.
Armand told Global News while they are shocked, they are finding comfort in the Filipino community.
Homicide investigators announced Wednesday that charges have now been laid in connection with Loreto’s death.
Charges of first-degree murder and indignity to human remains have now been laid against Carlo Tobias, 21, and a 15-year-old who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
“We believe this was not a random incident,” Sgt. Frank Jang of IHIT said Wednesday.
“This was not gang-related. This was not drug-related. This was not a random incident. From what we can tell, we are sure everybody knew each other.”
Jang added none of the people involved are known to the police.
He said they believe Loreto was killed in her New Westminster home earlier in the evening on March 17.
“Nobody deserves to die like this. Especially to a very nice, caring person. Especially to a mom who’s hard-working,” friend Maricris Naaykens told Global News Wednesday.
All her friends who attended the small vigil at the park said they were stunned to hear the news of their friend’s death.
“She worked hard for the family,” friend Salve Dayao told Global News.
— with files from Rumina Daya