Vancouver mother wants answers after memorial to slain daughter removed

·2 min read

A grieving Vancouver mother wants answers after the shrine she maintained for years in her daughter's memory was removed without any notice.

The shrine, near East 7th Avenue and St. Catherines Street in East Vancouver, was established near the spot where Marlene Thistle's daughter, Janice Nicole Bryant, 33, was shot and killed on May 23, 2017.

Bryant's killer has not been found.

"Someone took it upon themselves to remove the memorial, and dump it right there like it was garbage," said Thistle. "My daughter is not garbage."

Thistle put up the memorial — which had flowers, statues of angels and a cross — just a few metres from where Bryant was shot.

"She was a genuine human being. She had a huge heart, was very loving," Thistle said. "She'd give the shirt off her back to anyone in need."

Thistle said the memorial was both a way of honouring her daughter and keeping a light on her unsolved case.

The removal of the memorial has been devastating, she said.

Submitted by Marlene Thistle
Submitted by Marlene Thistle

"When I witnessed it, it was like her being gone all over again, the moments of her being shot," Thistle said.

"What if this memorial site was for your daughter, your sister or your mother? Really sit back and think about the impact of how you would feel as an individual to find a memorial destroyed like it was."

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

In an email to CBC, both the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Park Board say their staff were not responsible for taking down the memorial.

City officials did note, however, that there had been several requests from the public to remove it due to its location and sight lines from the adjacent roads.

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

Thistle said the memorial had taken years to build up, but she is committed to putting it back together for her daughter.

"Until her murder case is solved, I will set it up again."