Hundreds gather at Holland Park to remember Maple Batalia
More than 500 people gathered in silence at Holland Park on Friday night to mourn the death of Surrey teen Maple Batalia.
The large group placed candles and flowers around a table covered with photos of Batalia, with many people standing in line for more than an hour to pay their respects to the to the 19-year-old Simon Fraser University student.
Batalia was shot Wednesday morning on the third level of the Central City parkade near the Surrey campus of SFU. She had been studying late with friends, and left for her car at just after 1 a.m.
She died in hospital.
Her family is still in extreme pain over the loss.
Batalia's father, Harkirat Batalia, talked about her at the vigil on Friday.
"This wonderful child, a jewel of mine, has been snatched away forever," said Harkirat, who called his daughter his little Tweetie Bird.
"My charming little sweet child, I'll miss you. May God take you in heaven and keep you there... and please God help me in this moment."
Batalia's mother expressed similar depth of despair earlier in the day.
"My life is finished," Sarabjit Batalia told The Leader before the vigil Friday. "What is my life without her? She was the star in our life and our whole family."
She has no idea who would have wanted to kill her daughter.
"I know she had no enemies, and she had no time to fight with anybody," Sarabjit said, adding her daughter was too busy with various activities to make anyone angry.
Sarabjit had asked Batalia to ease up because her plate was so full, between modelling, acting, her job and studying to be a medical student.
Batalia refused to slow down, saying she was going to be an actor or a doctor.
She was a finalist in the Central City Model Search, which was scheduled to have its finale last Saturday.
Given what happened to Batalia, organizers have cancelled the event indefinitely.
The decision to postpone the event was made out of respect to Batalia and her family.
"We did not feel it was appropriate to go forward with it at this time," Central City Marketing and Communications Director Michelle MacKay said.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has more than 50 officers working on the case in a bid to bring Batalia's killer to justice.
Police have said there is nothing about Batalia's lifestyle that would have put her at-risk for this kind of attack.