British Columbia

Vancouver mother vows to rebuild memorial to slain daughter

Marlene Thistle maintained the shrine over the past four years to commemorate her daughter Janice Nicole Bryant, and to keep a light on her unsolved case.

It is not known who killed 33-year-old Janice Nicole Bryant in May 2017

Marlene Thistle holds a photo of her late daughter, Janice Nicole Bryant, who was shot and killed in East Vancouver in May 2017. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A grieving Vancouver mother has vowed to rebuild a shrine she maintained for years in her daughter's memory after it was removed without any notice. 

The shrine, near East 7th Avenue and St. Catherines Street in East Vancouver, was established near the spot where Marlene Thistle's daughter, Janice Nicole Bryant, 33, was shot and killed on May 23, 2017. 

Bryant's killer has not been found.

"Someone took it upon themselves to remove the memorial, and dump it ... like it was garbage," said Thistle. "My daughter is not garbage."

Thistle put up the memorial — which had been built up with flowers, wreaths, statues of angels and a cross — just a few metres from where Bryant was shot.

"She was a genuine human being. She had a huge heart, was very loving," Thistle said. "She'd give the shirt off her back to anyone in need."

Thistle said the memorial was both a way of honouring her daughter and keeping a light on her unsolved case. 

The removal of the memorial has been devastating, she said. 

The original memorial had flowers, statues of angels and a cross, and was located just a few metres from where Bryant was shot. (Submitted by Marlene Thistle)

"When I witnessed it, it was like her being gone all over again, the moments of her being shot," Thistle said.

"What if this memorial site was for your daughter, your sister or your mother? Really sit back and think about the impact of how you would feel as an individual to find a memorial destroyed like it was." 

Thistle created the memorial for her daughter over the past four years. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

In an email to CBC, both the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Park Board say their staff were not responsible for taking down the memorial. 

City officials did note, however, that there had been several requests from the public to remove it due to its location and sight lines from the adjacent roads.

Thistle is pictured near the remnants of the memorial to her daughter Janice. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Thistle said the memorial had taken years to build up, but she is committed to putting it back together for her daughter.

"Until her murder case is solved, I will set it up again."

With files from Isabelle Raghem