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Teen, man accused of killing New Westminster woman appear in court

Last Updated Mar 27, 2021 at 8:48 am PDT

Homicide investigators believe Maria Cecilia Loreto was killed in her New Westminster home on March 17, 2021. Her burned body was found in Greentree Village Park in Burnaby the following morning. (Courtesy: New Westminster Police)

Family members of Maria Cecilia Loreto did not attend as the two people accused in her death appeared in court

Body of New Westminster mother was found in Burnaby park on March 18

21-year-old, 15-year-old charged with first-degree murder and indignity to a human body

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) – Both people accused in the death of Maria Cecilia Loreto, whose body was found in Burnaby last week, made quick appearances at the New Westminster Law Courts Friday morning.

Both said little as they appeared via video link.

Family members of Loreto were not in court as 21-year-old Carlo Tobias appeared first, wearing an orange shirt and a face mask.

He is facing one count of first-degree murder and one count of indignity to a human body.

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His answers were brief and the appearance was logistical in nature, with his next date set for late next month.

A 15-year-old is also facing the same charges in this case, but due to their age, they cannot be named.

Both people are expected to make court appearances in April, via video link.

The court appearances comes a week and a day after Loreto’s remains were found badly burned at Burnaby’s Greentree Village Park.

Police believe Loreto was killed in her New Westminster home on Wednesday, March 17, before her body was moved to Burnaby’s Greentree Village Park, near the BCIT campus, and set on fire.

Carlo Tobias, 21, appears in court via videolink on Mar. 26, 2021. (CityNews)

Homicide detectives have said both of the accused knew the victim, but have not commented on their relationship.

The case has rocked the local Filipino-Canadian community.

“I wasn’t thinking it was her, but in the back of my head, it could be her, because of the description in the news,” said friend Lady Maridel David. “But still, I wanted to think positive, like, it wasn’t her. So, when I learned that it was her, I got devastated. I wasn’t able to eat and sleep.”

Friends and family are hoping Loreto, known to them as Mycel, will be remembered for her happy nature, kindness, love of song and dance, and volunteerism.


-With files from OMNI Television and CityNews