SURREY - Today marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of 19-year-old Devon Allaire-Bell.
Allaire-Bell and his best pal Jack Neilsen, 20, were playing soccer in a field behind Frank Hurt Secondary during the evening of April 24, 2011, when five South Asian men approached them and they got into an argument.
Allaire-Bell and Neilsen were stabbed several times.
Neilsen survived the attack and stumbled across the parking lot to call for help. Allaire-Bell didn't survive.
Wayne and Cynthia Allaire-Bell, the mother and father of Devon, have been struggling with the loss of their son.
"It's horrible," a tearful Cynthia said on the one-year anniversary of her son's murder.
They are looking for those responsible to be held accountable and be brought to justice.
Earlier this year, family and friends of the slain teen appeared before Surrey council, urging the city to name Frank Hurt Park after Devon.
Many believe Devon's killers used the park as an escape route.
"Our son and friend to many had to die laying on the concrete parking lot of Frank Hurt Secondary while the evil that left two people for dead sauntered into the forest," Cynthia said to Surrey council earlier this year.
Cynthia told council that, before her son's death, the park had become overgrown, describing it as dense with underbrush and full of garbage, condoms, needles and syringes, making it a playground for criminals.
Many local Newton residents, including Devon's parents, have taken it upon themselves to clean up the space, in the hopes that local families can once again feel safe in the park they used to frequent.
"These people took something that I valued more than my own life," Devon's dad Wayne told Surrey council. "We would like to make this a turning point for our family and for the community."
Wayne told council that it's time for change. "What we do here will resonate long into the future. Let us make this turning point," he said of renaming and taking back the park. "How many lives are enough to institute change? One is all it took for me."
Cynthia said Tuesday the family has yet to hear from the City of Surrey about their request to honour Devon by renaming the park after him. City staff expect to have a report to council on the matter soon.
The family has organized a candlelight vigil for Devon for Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. It will take place at Devon's memorial site at Frank Hurt Secondary, at 13940 77th Ave. in Surrey.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is on the case and on July 26, 2011 and released a video of five South Asian males believed to be the suspects responsible for Devon's death.
Following the release of this video tips poured in, which have assisted investigators in providing a direction to move forward.
Investigators are hopeful the new information will provide police with tangible evidence.
"Through information received IHIT has been able to identify many persons of interest. Each tip that comes in has to be individually investigated so, as you can well imagine, this takes time," said IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound.
"Through the duration of the past year we know there are people who have talked about this homicide. We need those people, who have specific and intimate details about this killing, to come forward to police."
Anyone with any information can call 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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