Crime scene photos released in trial of man accused of murdering B.C. teen
WARNING: This story contains graphic content and may affect those who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.
More than a dozen photos of the crime scene where a 13-year-old girl was found dead in 2017 have been released at the trial of Ibrahim Ali, the man charged with her murder.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lance Bernard approved the release of the photos, which were taken on July 19, 2017, in the hours after the teen's body was found in Burnaby's Central Park.
They depict key pieces of evidence that are prominent in the Crown's case against Ali, including the victim's purse and phone, which Burnaby RCMP officers found about 10 to 20 metres away from her body.
A pair of headphones, believed to belong to the teen, were also found and photographed. Officers testified the headphones were tangled in the brush about halfway between where officers found the purse and where the girl's body was found.
In the Crown's opening statement, prosecutors said the teen — whose name is protected by a publication ban — was passing through Burnaby Central Park on the evening of July 18, 2017, when she was attacked and dragged from a trail into the woods.
Prosecutors say she was then sexually assaulted and strangled.
Ali has been charged with first-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty.
Police, experts testify
A handful of officers have testified during the trial.
RCMP Const. Richard Huggins, who testified on April 28, said he was among the first officers dispatched after receiving a call about a missing teen just after midnight on July 19.
He told the jury that police were able to "ping" the victim's phone — using radio towers — tracing it to an area in the southeast corner of the park.
Huggins said he stumbled upon the small purse leaning against a tree. There was a wallet and phone inside, with a student ID card that matched the name and description of the missing teen.
He said he radioed for additional officers. A police canine unit was called and found the body shortly afterwards.
Cpl. Stacey Rogers, who was with Huggins, testified that she ran over to the dog handler, who shrieked and screamed when he came across the body. She said she noticed the headphones halfway between the purse and the body.
Forensic identification specialist Dominic Toa testified that he took more than 300 photos of the crime scene that night.
During cross-examination, he said there were no clear signs of footprints or drag marks on the forest floor surrounding the body.
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