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.
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 15 y/o has appeared. Can't say much more as this person is a minor.
Proceedings are over and both will make appearances in April.
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) March 26, 2021
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.
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