Page last modified on Wednesday, 27-Oct-2021 13:58:20 EDT
Kelowna, British Columbia - It's been 26 years since Mindy Tran rode her bike down a quiet Kelowna road and became the victim of one of this city's most infamous and ultimately unsolved crimes.
The eight-year-old had gone out to play just after dinner, Aug. 17, 1994. When she didn't return, a search was called and hundreds of area residents fanned out across the neighbourhood to find who was described by many as a studious and friendly child, according to Capital News archives.
Her body, which showed evidence of strangulation and sexual violation, was ultimately found six weeks later, Oct. 11, 1994, when a man with a divining rod led police to a shallow grave in Mission Creek Regional park.
In 2019, 25 years later, a small group of mourners met at the Mindy Tran Memorial, a tree with a sign next to it featuring her school photo and a dedication to the memory of the little girl.
The dedication reads, "See this tree that will grow instead of Mindy."
Roses were laid, kisses were blown and a prayer was said in Tran's memory.
"I want to remember the little girl. I want her to rest in peace," said Shui Lee, a friend of Tran family who helped search for Mindy.
Lee spoke on behalf of her parents who did not attend the ceremony because it was "too painful." However, Lee said that the couple is still grateful for the support of the community in the search for their daughter.
"Every night they are still so angry," said Lee.
For Sandi Giddings, her son lost a best friend all those years ago.
"There's not a day that goes by that we don't think of her," said Giddings, who also helped search for Tran.
Tran's memorial and her tree sits at the Springfield/ Ziprick Road parking lot, close to where she was found.
Shannon Murrin, a neighbour, was charged with her murder, but was acquitted and returned to Newfoundland, joined by one of his jurors, Kathy MacDonald, who later admitted they had fallen in love during the trial.
Who is responsible for Mindy Tran's death?
Since Murrin's acquittal, the murder remains unsolved.
No recent updates. Today is October 28, 2021. This file may be out of date. Any update on this case, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nearly 50 Years Later, There Are Still No Clues to What Happened to Virginia Sampare
October 14, 1971
18-year-old Jean Virginia Sampare was last seen by Alvin (her cousin) on Highway 16 outside Gitsegukla on October 14, 1971. He left her alone as he cycled home to get a jacket, and she was gone when he returned.
Sampare worked at the Royal Packing Company salmon canning plant in Claxton and was described as a healthy, normal 18-year-old woma nwho sang teasing songs to her siblings. She loved to play "nurse" with her siblings and would take turns with Winnie (sibling) being the nurse.