MONTREAL - A wave of sorrow washes over Yan Shi's face as he describes meeting the mother of the victim of one of Canada's most horrific crimes.

Jun Lin's mother could barely be understood amid her sobs but Shi said one message for her murdered son came out clear as a bell — "We come to bring you home now."

CAUTION: GRAPHIC CONTENT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS.

As the attention-seeking alleged killer of Lin sits in a German jail awaiting extradition back to Canada, Lin's family is struggling to collect themselves enough to wrap up the loose ends of his life in the city where the Concordia University student met an unspeakable end.

Unlike the avalanche of information about his alleged killer, who has heaps of writings, pictures and videos of himself on the Internet, only a trickle of details have emerged about Lin and virtually nothing about his family, with the exception that they're from China.

Lin's torso was left stuffed in a suitcase which was dumped in the trash outside a working class Montreal apartment building two weeks ago. One of his hands and a foot was mailed to political parties in Ottawa and discovered, along with the torso, last week.

Luka Rocco Magnotta, a 29-year-old porn star and model whom police say knew Lin, has been charged with first-degree murder in his killing. He was arrested Monday in Berlin after an international manhunt.

As if the Lin family's private anguish couldn't get any worse, police are now trying to determine if another hand and foot mailed to schools in Vancouver belong to their son.

Shi, who is president of the Concordia Chinese Students Association, said his group is helping the Lin family while they are in Montreal, doing such things as providing guides around the city and interpreters.

He met Lin's father, mother, sister and uncle when they arrived at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport on Tuesday and grimaced with sadness as he described the emotional scene. Lin's mother struggled to stay on her feet and was so overcome with grief that she could barely express herself.

"The entire scene was heartbreaking," Shi told The Canadian Press in an interview.

"Lin's mother was very emotional. She was crying the entire time. It's really terrible just being there. We didn't understand a word she was saying, she was crying a lot.

"She was barely walking. We had to help her."

Few other details have emerged about the victim and his family.

Lin has been described as a hard-working and polite employee by his boss at a convenience store. He rented an apartment on May 1 with a roommate and friends have said he had a good sense of humour and liked cats.

The Chinese consulate has said Lin was born in Wuhan, the capital of Hubai province, and had been in Montreal since last July.

Wuhan is the most heavily populated city in central China and is sometimes referred to as the "Chicago of China." It's a major transportation hub and known as a political, economic, educational and cultural centre.

It was not immediately clear on Wednesday when Lin's remains would be released to his family for burial because police note the body is still evidence in his slaying.

Frederick Lowy, president of Concordia University, where Lin studied engineering and computer science, and other officials of the school met with Lin's family on Wednesday. Montreal police have also talked to Lin's relatives.

"Like any other case, investigators meet with the family," said Const. Anie Lemieux, a Montreal police spokeswoman.

Shi said the Chinese students association has set up a bank account where people can donate to help defray family's expenses while they're here to settle his affairs, which is expected to take two or three weeks. He said the family is exhausted.

A Chinese community newspaper in Montreal says it has also received $550 in donations for Lin's family.

Shi and a university spokeswoman also said a public memorial is being considered for Lin, if the family agrees.

"We're there to support the family," said Chris Mota, a university spokesperson. "If they want one, we can help them."

A police spokesman said that while regular Montrealers offered financial help, authorities would do their best to shield the family from any unwanted media attention.

"You must understand that they have gone through a horrible episode," said police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere.

Shi, a 24-year-old marketing student, said the Chinese student community was hit hard by Lin's death and is grappling to come to terms with it.

"People are still shocked," he said. "I constantly have people, my friends, telling me they know Lin, they were just with him a few days ago — and now this. I just met somebody today, she said the murder happened just a few houses away from where she lives and that was very scary."

A shrine for Lin beneath a statue of Canadian surgeon Norman Bethune, who is an icon to the Chinese because of his work in that country, has grown in recent days. Several bouquets of flowers lie in the space near Concordia and there are a couple of pictures of Lin taped to the statue.

There are also a few messages, including one that says, "We got that beast."

Shi hopes things can get back to normal soon because he said people are overwhelmed by emotions and the media as journalists try to find out about Lin.

Shi himself did not know Lin personally but has gotten to know a lot about him.

"The more I know about him, the more he seems to be a very, very nice guy," Shi said. "He just doesn't deserve this kind of fate. It's so cruel.

"What we are doing now is the least we can do for him."

-With files from Peter Rakobowchuk

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  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Luka Rocco Magnotta is shown in an artist's sketch in a Montreal court on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Magnotta has collapsed in court during his preliminary hearing.The notorious suspect in a killing and dismemberment case had been listening to evidence against him, whose contents are subject to a publication ban.

  • Daran Lin, father of murder victim Jun Lin, leaves the courthouse in Montreal on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Preliminary hearing is set to start for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Luka Rocco Magnotta is seen in an artist's sketch in a Montreal court on Monday, March 11, 2013. A preliminary hearing is set to start for Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.Magnotta's lawyers want the public and media barred from attending the hearing, which is to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial.

  • Daran Lin, father of murder victim Jun Lin, leaves court with his translator Daran Lin in Montreal on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Preliminary hearing is set to start for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Alleged killer Luka Rocco Magnotta is seen in court on a artist drawing Wednesday, January 9, 2013 in Montreal. Magnotta is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying and dismemberment of Chinese engineering student Jun Lin.

  • Luka Rocco Magnotta is taken by police from a Canadian military plane to a waiting van on Monday, June 18, 2012 in Mirabel, Quebec. Magnotta, the lone suspect in a brutal Montreal killing that made headlines around the world, is back home to face justice on Canadian soil. (Montreal Police)

  • Magnotta lands in Canada (Montreal Police)

  • Magnotta lands in Canada (Montreal Police)

  • Mug shot of Luka Rocco Magnotta, released by Montreal Police on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Magnotta told a judge Tuesday he will not fight his extradition from Germany to Canada, Berlin police say. Magnotta is wanted in Canada on several charges, including first-degree murder, in connection with the killing and dismemberment of Chinese national Jun Lin. (AP Photo/Montreal Police Service via The Canadian Press)

  • Vancouver Police Deputy Chief Warren Lemcke speaks during a news conference after a human hand was delivered to a school and a human foot to another in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday June 5, 2012. Montreal police later confirmed the packages are connected to the dismembered body of a Chinese student found in Montreal last week and the international manhunt for his killer. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

  • A man walks his dog past St. George's School where a human foot was delivered to the school earlier in the day in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday June 5, 2012. A human hand was also delivered to another Vancouver school Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

  • A television cameraman films parents and students at False Creek Elementary School after a human hand was delivered to the school earlier in the day in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday June 5, 2012. A human foot was also delivered to another Vancouver school Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

  • A police car leaves the central police detention facility of Berlin supposedly carrying Luka Rocco Magnotta to a Berlin court Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Luka Magnotta, 29, a Canadian porn actor suspected of murdering and dismembering a Chinese was arrested on Monday at an Internet cafe. A cafe employee recognized Magnotta from a newspaper photo and flagged down a police car. (AP Photo/dapd/ Timur Emek)

  • The internet cafe where Luka Rocco Magnottahe was recognized in the district of Neukoelln in Berlin, Germany, Monday, June 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

  • This image taken from CCTV obtained by Associated Press video shows Luka Rocco Magnotta entering the Internet cafe in the district of Neukoelln in Berlin, Germany, Monday, June 4, 2012, where Kadir Anlayisli, who works in the cafe recognized him. "I looked at him and thought I knew him from somewhere, because I read newspapers every day," Anlayisli said. (AP Photo/AP Video)

  • This image taken from CCTV obtained by Associated Press video shows Kadir Anlayisli, a cafe worker waiting for police in the doorway of the Internet cafe in the district of Neukoelln in Berlin, Germany, Monday, June 4, 2012, where Luka Rocco Magnotta was arrested. (AP Photo/AP Video)

  • This image taken from CCTV obtained by Associated Press video shows police entering the Internet cafe shortly after. (AP Photo/AP Video)

  • This image taken from CCTV obtained by Associated Press video shows Luka Rocco Magnotta, 2nd left, being removed by police from the Internet cafe. (AP Photo/AP Video)

  • Kadir Anlayisli stands next to the computer where he recognized Luka Rocco Magnotta. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

  • The Interpol alert, which shows various photos and a discription of Luka Rocco Magnotta. (AP Photo/Interpol/dapd)

  • This surveillance image provided by Interpol shows Luka Rocco Magnotta at a security checkpoint. (AP Photo/Interpol)

  • In a Wednesday, May 30, 2012 photo, janitor Eric Schoer looks at a blood-stained fridge at an apartment rented by suspect Luka Rocco Magnotta, where police believe a man was murdered and dismembered, in Montreal. (The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

  • A police officer removes a package containg a human foot from the Conservative Party headquarters in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 29, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

  • The following is a series of photos and self-portraits posted by Magnota on various websites (Facebook)

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