BRITISH COLUMBIA

Police said charges have been laid against male suspect in death of B.C. teen

09/21/2014 07:59 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:03 EDT
SURREY, B.C. - Homicide investigators in B.C. said a suspect has been charged in the death of a 17-year-old girl from Surrey.

On Sunday, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said one male had been arrested and remains in custody.

Police said they will not release the identity of the accused because of a publication ban.

Serena Vermeersch's body was found near railway tracks last week, about an hour after a man was seen walking on the tracks and getting into a Dodge pickup truck.

Vermeersch boarded a bus last Monday, and her mother called officers when her daughter did not come home.

Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy with Surrey RCMP has said the crime happened near the police station, and the teen was killed despite the fact police cars pass by frequently.

Police have called the death a random crime of opportunity and were asking the public for help in finding a silver truck last week.

But on Saturday officers said they were no longer looking for the vehicle.

More details are expected to be revealed in a news conference scheduled for Monday morning.

The death comes at a time when safety has become a major concern in Surrey.

Civic parties have adopted public safety as an election issue in the upcoming November municipal elections, and there has been much debate on whether the city has enough police officers, particularly in the Newton area.

Vermeersch was found dead in that neighbourhood, which also was the site of another high-profile death.

Last December, hockey mom Julie Paskall was killed while picking up her son from hockey practice, stoking fears about crime in the area.