British Columbia

Man and teenager charged with murder after burning body discovered near Burnaby playground

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced Wednesday afternoon that two people now face multiple charges related to a burning body that was found in a Burnaby park last week.

Police identified the victim as Ma Cecilia Loreto of New Westminster

Police have identified the victim as Ma Cecilia Loreto, who often went by the name Mycel. (IHIT)

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced Wednesday afternoon that two people now face multiple charges related to a burning body that was found in a Burnaby, B.C., park last week.

Carlo Tobias, 21, and a 15-year-old youth face charges of first-degree murder and indignity to human remains.

Cpl. Frank Jang with IHIT identified the victim as New Westminster resident Ma Cecilia Loreto, who was also known by the name Mycel.

Loreto was a 49-year-old recent immigrant from the Philippines and a mother with a "loving family" who worked in a food store in the Vancouver area, according to Jang.

"Our deepest condolences go out to Ma Cecilia's family, her friends, her colleagues in the community," he said.

Emergency responders were called to Greentree Village Park on March 18 at 1:57 a.m. PT for reports of a bush and grass fire. Instead, they found Loreto's body on fire. 

"We believe that Ma Cecilia was in fact killed at her residence in New Westminster earlier that evening," said Jang.

A white tent covers the area where Loreto's remains were found in a Burnaby park on March 18. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Her remains were found metres from a children's playground. A section of the park, including the playground, was surrounded by yellow police tape the morning her body was found.

Jang says the two accused and the victim were known to each other and the death was not random. There is no ongoing concern for public safety, he added.

The 15-year-old has not been named because they are a minor. No further details were released. 

"We have a very good idea of what happened … but all that information, right now, isn't for public consumption, unfortunately."

Anyone with information is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-4448.

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