Monday, February 21, 2011

Police announce arrest in B.C. teen's beating death

Police announce arrest in B.C. teen's beating death

Police in Delta, B.C. have announced the arrest of an 18-year-old male in relation to the brutal beating death of 15-year-old Laura Szendrei.

In a news conference Monday, a Delta police spokesperson said investigators have no evidence to suggest the suspect knew the soccer player before the September attack. Szendrai died in hospital on Sept. 26, a day after she was found clinging to life in Mackie Park.

"We believe that she became a target because an opportunity presented itself," said Sgt. Sharlene Brooks. "Our investigation is far from over. There is an incredible amount of follow-up for us to do."

Brooks said she expects the arrest will bring mixed emotions to the community, which has been grappling to understand the tragic murder.

"Although I think there will be relief, there will also be tremendous distress knowing this suspect is from our community," she said.

Rachael Szendrei, the victim's mother, thanked the police for their work and the community for its support.

"There's no way to describe the feeling of this arrest other than to say we are so thankful," she said at the news conference. "We miss (Laura) dearly. We will always be a family of four. No one can take that from us."

The suspect was 17 at the time of Szendrei's murder and cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.