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Man accused in death of Ma Cecilia Loreto also facing sexual interference charge

Click to play video: 'Young suspects in first-degree murder case appear in court' Young suspects in first-degree murder case appear in court
The two people charged in the death of a woman whose burned body was found in a Burnaby park last week --- appeared briefly before a judge Friday. Jennifer Palma reports on those proceedings and what happens next – Mar 26, 2021

A 15-year-old and a 21-year-old accused of first-degree murder appeared in a New Westminster court Friday morning.

Both are charged with first-degree murder and indignity to human remains in the death of 49-year-old Ma Cecilia Loreto, or Maricel or Mycel, as she was known to her friends and family.

The BC Prosecution Service also confirmed Friday that Carlo Tobias, the 21-year-old, is facing a single charge of sexual interference involving a minor between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, 2020.

Loreto’s burned remains were discovered on March 18 in Greentree Village Park in Burnaby.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said they believe Loreto was killed in her New Westminster home earlier in the evening of March 17.

Click to play video: 'Friends of woman found murdered in Burnaby park last week in shock and disbelief' Friends of woman found murdered in Burnaby park last week in shock and disbelief
Friends of woman found murdered in Burnaby park last week in shock and disbelief – Mar 25, 2021

Read more: ‘Nobody deserves to die like this’: Shock after teen, 21-year-old charged in B.C. woman’s death

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On Friday, Tobias and the 15-year-old who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act appeared separately in court via a video link for a few minutes.

Loreto’s friends and family were not in court.

Tobias will next appear on April 28 while the youth will next appear on April 12.

Carlo Tobias appeared in court via video link on Friday, March 26, 2021.
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Burnaby murder victim loved to dance – Mar 25, 2021

Read more: 2 people charged with first-degree murder after burned body found in Burnaby park

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Loreto’s death has sent shockwaves through her community.

“My sister is a very good mom, she’s a very good provider,” brother Armand told Global News Thursday. 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.”

Friends and supporters have set up a GoFundMe campaign for Loreto’s family.

IHIT said previously they do not believe this incident was a random act.

“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,” Sgt. Frank Jang with IHIT said Wednesday.

Jang added none of the people involved is known to the police.

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