Manjit Virk has been receiving letters from the Parole Board of Canada for the past 18 months notifying him that his daughter Reena’s killer has been granted more freedom.

“The time has come in our life that we have moved on from that situation,” said Virk.

Now in her mid-30’s Kelly Ellard, who has changed her name to Kerry Sim, has had her day parole extended another six months and will also be granted overnight leave from her halfway house. The board says it’s a step in helping her reintegrate into the community.

While Manjit Virk says news about Ellard no longer impacts him, something else in the news recently is tearing open wounds he thought were healing.

“This particular incident just brought up all the memories back to me because of the similarities with Reena and Carson, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

Earlier this month 14-year-old Carson Crimeni from Langley died after his family says he was given drugs by kids he thought were his friends. The incident was captured on video and then posted to social media.

“You could tell he was in big trouble, he was dying, he was dying in the Snapchat videos,” said Carson’s father Aron Crimeni.

Virk says Crimeni’s death has many parallels to his daughter’s . 14-year-old Reena Virk was lured to a secluded area under the Craigflower bridge in 1997 where she was swarmed by a group of kids she thought were her friends, beaten, then drowned.

After decades of raising awareness about bullying, Virk is left wondering how something like this could happen 22 years later.

“How can you be so desensitized? and watch that scene there? it’s not a movie, it’s a real person is being hurt,” said Virk.

He hopes more will join him in taking a stand against bullying. Carson Cremini’s dad is already on board.

“When you see somebody being bullied the right thing to do is to call somebody to help them,” he said.

“You can be anti-bullying and you can not bully people yourself and that’s all fine and good but if you see somebody being bullied and you walk by it and do nothing then you’re not a solution to the problem at all.”

 

April Lawrence