Family members of Jun Lin, the Chinese man allegedly killed and dismembered by Luka Rocco Magnotta, have arrived in Montreal under intense media attention, while the victim's friends rally to support them.
Yan Shi, head of Concordia University's Chinese Student Association, was among the delegation of people that greeted Lin's family at the Trudeau Airport.
He described their "heartbreaking" arrival as Lin's mother openly struggled with her grief.
"She was not even able to even walk straight, so we had to carry her," Shi said. "When we tried to understand what she was saying, all we could make out it was 'we come here to take you home.'"
Community fundraising efforts are underway to help alleviate the possible financial burden related to the tragedy.
Chinese students at Concordia have set up a fund – the Lin Jun Rest In Peace Foundation – to help defray family's expenses while they're here, which is expected to be two or three weeks.
In an exclusive interview with CBC Montreal, a close friend of Lin described him as an ambitious, hard-working young man who loved his new life in Canada.
"He was a very nice person, very open-minded. He enjoyed making jokes with us." said Matty, 24, who only wanted to his first name used.
"I just want people to know he was good to his friends, and he was a good student. I know his marks at Concordia were around 'A's'.
Lin worked long hours in China to support himself and save enough money to come study in Montreal, where "it's not cheap, it's pretty expensive for Chinese people."
"His life was not easy," but he was happy, Matty said.
Lin's mother, father, sister and uncle have already met with Montreal police and Concordia officials, who offered to hold a school memorial in his memory.
Community members in Montreal are also remembering Lin by dropping off cards at the Pointe-Saint-Charles corner store where Lin used to work. His boss, Kankan Huang, said he has collected dozens of cards so far.
Magnotta awaiting extradition
Magnotta, 29, is awaiting extradition in Germany on a number of charges, including first-degree murder, mailing obscene material and committing an indignity to a human body. He was arrested in Berlin earlier this week following an international manhunt.
Magnotta is accused of killing Lin, filming and uploading a video of the alleged act to the internet and sending remains through the mail.
At a press conference in Montreal, police Cmdr. Ian Lafrenière said authorities will be in "ongoing" contact with Lin's family to provide assistance.
"This is a horrible ordeal they’ve been put through,” he said Wednesday.
Human remains found in B.C.
Lin, a 33-year-old Chinese national who was attending Concordia University in Montreal, was last seen on May 24.
His torso was found inside a suitcase outside a Montreal apartment on May 29, the same day body parts addressed to the offices of the Conservative and Liberal parties in Ottawa were discovered.
Magnotta was identified as a suspect the following day.
Police believe Lin was killed sometime around the evening of May 24 or early May 25. A video that apparently captured some of the act was posted to an online gore site on May 25 and circulated on the web for several days.
Investigators in Montreal said Tuesday that some of Lin's remains were still missing. Later that day, a hand and a foot were delivered to two elementary schools in Vancouver.
Cmdr. Lafrenière said Wednesday police are working to confirm that the remains found in B.C. are Lin's, although it appears likely. Vancouver police are sending the remains to Montreal and are handing the investigation over to officers there.
Lafrenière also said police continue to search for Lin's head.
"We’ve been working extremely hard to find all of the body parts out of respect to the family," Lafrenière said. "They’re going to have a hard time to live with this now."