A vigil is planned this week for a Surrey man who was killed in a double Langley murder.
Avery Levely-Flescher was 20 when he was shot and killed, along with 34-year-old Burnaby resident Brandy Petrie, on a rural road in Langley in the early morning hours of Sept. 1.
Charged in their killings is 21-year-old Travis MacPhail of Langley.
Levely-Flescher’s mother Leah Larocque told the Now-Leader a celebration of life will take place this Thursday (Sept. 14) at 7 p.m. at Hjorth Park for her son, where he spent much of his childhood.
“We will be doing a balloon release where friends and family can first write a few words to Avery, put the note inside the blue balloon in which we will fill with helium and then all the balloons will be released at once,” she said via email. “As well we will have a microphone and speaker for anyone who would like to say a prayer, read a poem or simply share a story about Avery.
“At dusk we will light a 100 candles wrapped in a blue ribbon and share a moment of silence.”
Larocque acknowledged that her son got into some trouble with the law.
“Avery got himself involved with some of the wrong people which is why we made the decision to move the family and him to Ontario,” she told the Now-Leader. “Avery’s charge was assault.”
Larocque, who lives in London, ON with two of her other children, couldn’t afford to fly to B.C. to hold the vigil, and transport her son’s remains home for a funeral there.
Her cousin, Lee Garner, started a GoFundMe page for Larocque to raise funds for her to travel to Surrey to hold the celebration of life, as well as have his remains brought back to Ontario. It raised $1,800.
“His friends are really needing some sort of closure,” said Larocque. “His friends really need a spot to grieve, so we’re going to do a candlelight vigil to that end.”
She figured Hjorth Park was the perfect place, considering “most of the kids could identify playing there with him at that park at some point in his life, at eight years old all the way to 19.”
Larocque said one of her son’s favourite pasttimes was creating digital music, and she plans to incorporate that into the vigil.
“He did a lot of music and it wasn’t just grabbing beats and everything, he was actually making songs from the ground up. So we’re going to have his music playing.”
Larocque hopes her son will be remembered for his “infectious laugh, funny impressions of others and his over usage of the word ‘goofy.’”
“He had never ending support he showed his family and friends,” she continued. “Whether it be giving advice on a new life direction, lending an ear, talking a friend out of suicide or helping another through the tragic loss of her mother.”
She said he did four years with the cadets and worked his way up to sergeant.
“All he aspired to be was part of the army doing humanitarian missions around the world. Little did we know he had been doing these missions throughout his whole life already.”
Larocque told the Now-Leader her son “decided to think education wasn’t his route” and was in and out of quite a few high schools.
The last one he was at, she added, was Johnston Heights Secondary in Guildford.
“That’s probably his most memorable school he was at.”
Larocque was a longtime Surrey resident, for about 30 years, before moving to Ontario last August.
That’s where she plans to lay her son to rest.
Meanwhile, MacPhail has been charged with two counts of second degree murder in the deaths of Petrie and Levely-Flescher. He is also charged with aggravated sexual assault, possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition and uttering threats.
“The aggravated sex assault charge is not linked to the homicide victims,” said Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokesman Cpl. Frank Jang.
Court documents online appear to indicate the offense of aggravated sexual assault occurred on Aug. 31 in Langley.
MacPhail is known to police but he doesn’t have a criminal record, said Jang.
Jang wouldn’t say if the victims knew the suspect. He also didn’t allude to what the motivation for the killings might have been. No other information was provided as the matter is now before the courts.
Early in the investigation, the evidence suggested the crime was not random and there doesn’t appear to be any links with any other acts of violence in the Lower Mainland, police said.
-With files from Black Press