Lin Jun buried in Montreal cemetery
Published Thursday, July 26, 2012 11:18AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:47PM EDT
Lin Jun, the Chinese exchange student who was killed in a slaying that grabbed international headlines, has been laid to rest in Montreal.
Lin’s ashes were interred at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery Thursday morning in a 30-minute ceremony that was marked by music and prayer and attended by about 30 people.
His family says Lin was buried in the land he loved.
Lin's father sobbed during the ceremony as he clutched the urn containing his son's remains.
His mother, Zhigui Du, did not attend at the funeral because of the emotion involved. But in a statement distributed to media, she said it was "very difficult" to say goodbye to her son.
"But I have been waiting for this day to come, because my son can finally rest in peace in the land that he loves," she said in the statement.
"When he left China and came to Canada to study, he wanted us to say goodbye with our smiles…. And today, I think it's time to wipe our tears and see our son go with smiles on our face."
The family later appeared at a brief news conference to again thank the public and Concordia University for their support.
Lin's dismembered torso was found May 29 in a suitcase that had been dumped in the trash outside a Montreal apartment building.
The same day, one of the 33-year-old’s feet was discovered in a package mailed to the Conservative party in Ottawa. A hand was found in another package in a Canada Post warehouse in the national capital.
His other hand and foot were discovered on June 5 in packages mailed to two Vancouver schools.
After an international manhunt, Luka Rocco Magnotta, a small-time porn actor, was arrested in Berlin on June 4 and charged with Lin's first-degree murder.
Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to several charges in connection with Lin's death, including first-degree murder.
Lin's mother said Thursday that her view of her son's alleged killer has changed over the last several weeks.
"Back then, I could only use 'devil' to describe the alleged murderer," she wrote in the statement offered to the media.
"But later on, when I learned more about this suspect through different news sources, especially about his upbringing, I shockingly discovered my other self who has started to develop sympathy for this person described as 'devil'."
A public memorial organized by the Montreal Chinese Alliance Church was held for Lin last weekend.
Concordia is helping raise funds for Lin’s family to cover the costs associated with the family staying in Canada for the extent of the trial. The university is also setting up an award in Lin’s memory to provide financial assistance to Chinese students.
The university has raised $70,000 so far.