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Man accused in New Westminster murder also charged with sexual interference

Last Updated Mar 27, 2021 at 1:49 am PDT

Summary

Carlos Castillo Tobias has been charged with one count for an incident that happened in or around Richmond last November

Tobias is facing one charge of first-degree murder, one count of indignity to a human body in the death of Maria Loreto

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) — The 21-year-old man who has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Maria Cecilia Loreto is also facing a charge of sexual interference with a minor.

Carlo Castillo Tobias has been charged with one count for an incident that happened in or around Richmond last November, according to a spokesperson for Tythe BC Prosecution service.

The Criminal Code of Canada defines “sexual interference” as  touching for “sexual purpose” either “directly or indirectly with a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body of a person under the age of 16 years.”

Tobias made an appearance on the murder charge in court Friday via video. 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. Police have said both accused knew Loreto, but have not commented on the relationship.

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

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.

RELATED: ‘A great loss to all of us’: New Westminster murder victim mourned by community

The case has rocked the local Filipino-Canadian community, and those who knew the 49-year-old mother remember her as someone who loved to volunteer, enjoyed singing and dancing, and was deeply kind.

“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.”