The devastated parents of Concordia University student Lin Jun say their impression of Canada has changed since their son’s death, according to a CBC report.
Mr. Lin’s mother, Zhigui Du, told the broadcaster she was thankful for the Montreal residents who helped her son when he moved to the city and those who have supported her family after his death.
“We still believe that most people here are very kind,” she said. “But this heinous crime happened in Canada. It’s made me reconsider what kind of place this is.”
Ms. Du said her son frequently assured her that he was safe and happy in Montreal in the months before his death. Mr. Lin came to Canada from China to study computer engineering at Concordia University.
The family is from a remote area in central China, and Mr. Lin’s mother said she worried about her son’s decision to move to a large city in another country. She spoke with Mr. Lin almost every day while he was in Montreal, Ms. Du said.
“As soon as he arrived in Canada, he called me. ‘Mommy, I’m in Canada now, safe and sound,’” she said. “When he arrived in Montreal, he called me again. ‘Mommy, Montreal is so beautiful, a lot like Beijing. Don’t worry, I’m fine.’”
Mr. Lin’s family has described him as a loving son, a top student and a trusting friend. The last entry on his Facebook page, dated May 11, was a photo of a park on which he wrote: “It’s too, too, too, beautiful.”
He worked at a Montreal convenience store, where his employer called him a model employee and a responsible and kind man. His friends in the city have said he was hoping to find love.
Ms. Du told the CBC that the last time she heard from her son was on May 24, and that she received a phone call from one of Mr. Lin’s classmates saying his friends didn’t know where he was either.
Eventually, she learned he had been killed from the news.
“My poor, dear boy,” Ms. Du said. “Why did his life have to end? Why did he have to suffer so much?”
Mr. Lin’s name occupied international headlines in May after the 33-year-old student was killed and dismembered, and some of his body parts were mailed to political parties in Ottawa and schools in Vancouver.
Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, has been charged with first-degree murder and several other criminal offences. He was arrested in Berlin last month after an international manhunt.
Mr. Lin’s mother said she was devastated when she found out that a video of her son’s brutal murder was posted online, calling it “the most unbearable pain.”
“It’s like my son is being murdered again and again,” Ms. Du said.
She said she doesn’t believe her son had a relationship with his accused killer.
The couple said they want to remain in Canada and attend the trial, the CBC reported, and some members of Montreal’s Chinese community have found them a place to stay in the city. Pretrial motions are scheduled to begin early next year.
Concordia University has been accepting donations for the family, and the school has said it would establish an award for Chinese students in Mr. Lin’s memory.
Mr. Lin’s father, Diran Lin, said he hopes justice will be done in the courts. “But if you ask me if I believe it, it is so hard to say ... I can only wish for it.”
A public memorial service will be held for their son this Saturday in Montreal, his parents said.