05/24/2012 07:01 EDT | Updated 07/24/2012 05:12 EDT

Canadians Stabbed In New Jersey: Alice Mei See Leung Was In Chinese Orchestra


A Toronto-area woman who was stabbed to death along with her mother in front of an Atlantic City, N.J., casino on Monday was a member of the city’s Chinese orchestra.

Alice Mei See Leung, 47, and her mother Po Lin Wan, 80, were fatally stabbed in broad daylight on the sidewalk outside Bally’s casino. The stabbing happened in the heart of the downtown tourist area of Atlantic City and steps from a hospital.

Leung was stabbed multiple times in the upper body. Wan tried to come to the aid of her daughter and was also killed.

Local police say the stabbing was a failed robbery attempt. Anette Pelzer, 44, of Philadelphia, has been charged with two counts of murder, possession of a weapon and robbery in their deaths.

CBC News has learned that Leung played the yangqin, an instrument similar to a dulcimer, in Toronto's Chinese orchestra.

Orchestra president Frederick Yiu said Leung joined the orchestra about 10 years ago and was a diligent student of music.

"She was pretty serious about her instrument,” he told CBC News. “She took lessons since 1997, so you know how serious she is.”

Yiu said Leung, who he described as friendly and quiet, also helped organize some of the orchestra’s social gatherings.

"We're all shocked,” said Yiu. “We all feel so upset, so sorry. We'll try to see how we can help because her family is not here."

Will be missed by colleagues

Sandy Chim worked with Leung at Century Iron Mines Corp., where she was an accountant. He said she will be badly missed by her colleagues there.

"Nobody ever saw her angry or agitated whatever the pressure and the circumstance was," he told CBC.

Leung lived with her mother in an apartment building in Scarborough, located in Toronto’s east end.

No other members of her family live in Toronto, but the family has roots in Hong Kong. Her relatives are flying to New York and will transport the body to Hong Kong for the funeral.