The family of Chinese student Jun Lin, who was brutally murdered and dismembered in Montreal last month, says his death was a "destructive blow" that left them physically and psychologically spent.
In a public letter written in Chinese, the family describes how grief has left them at "a breaking point."
The family also expresses deep gratitude for the outpouring of support and assistance in the wake of Lin's killing.
The letter was posted on a Chinese-language website Sunday.
Lin, the family's only son and "pride and joy," was a student at Concordia, where he had started a computer engineering program after obtaining permanent residency in Canada.
The university is handling donations to the Jun Lin Family Fund, set up last week by Concordia's Chinese Students Association.
Concordia has also offered to host a memorial service for Lin, but won't proceed without his family's blessing, said university media relations director Chris Mota.
The family is not considering interviews with media at this point.
Lin's dismembered torso was found in a suitcase outside a Montreal apartment building last month. Police later recovered his hands and feet, which were mailed to the Conservative and Liberal party headquarters in Ottawa and to two schools in Vancouver in the days after his murder.
The accused, 29-year-old Canadian Luka Rocco Magnotta, was arrested in Germany last week after an international manhunt. He is awaiting extradition back to Canada to face charges of first-degree murder and carrying out an indignity to a human body, among others.
Lin's family has asked that it be his life, not his death, that defines him.
"To commemorate Jun Lin, please let us remember his kindness, diligence and love for life," they wrote.
The family is waiting for a death certificate before deciding their next move, said Yan Shi, president of the Concordia Chinese Students Association. They feel they can't move on without it, he said.
The coroner's office is still awaiting results of DNA testing in order to confirm Lin was the victim before releasing his body to the family. Another government department would then provide a death certificate. That is expected to take several more days.
A spokesperson for the coroner's office said the case is not taking longer than normal. The department is trying to move quickly given the international attention on the case.
Miami police rule out link to cold case
Meanwhile, Miami police said they don't see any links between Magnotta and a three-year-old unsolved dismemberment case in the Florida city.
Det. Confesor Gonzalez said he contacted Canadian authorities about Magnotta after hearing from a reporter that the murder suspect may have spent time in Miami in recent years.
Gonzalez said he spoke to Canadian police about potential ties between Magnotta and the 2009 death and dismemberment of Guatemalan national Omar Laparra. He declined to say anything else about the discussion.
Police forces in Los Angeles and Gatineau, Que., have also indicated that they're looking at Magnotta's recent activity because both jurisdictions have unsolved homicide cases involving corpse mutilation.