VANCOUVER - The man accused of murdering Burnaby teenager Marissa Shen made an appearance in B.C. Supreme Court Wednesday as prosecutors move ahead with a direct indictment on a charge of first-degree murder.

Ibrahim Ali has been in custody at the North Fraser Pre-Trial Centre since shortly after his arrest in September of 2018.

Once a trial date is set, Ali will have his case heard before a judge and a jury.

Appearing via video conference, Ali could be seen wearing an orange T-shirt on Wednesday, with shoulder-length hair and a much more substantial beard than he had during his earlier court appearances.

He speaks very little English and an interpreter translated everything said in the courtroom for him.

Ali’s lawyer advised him not to say anything and for the most part he didn’t, except to occasionally acknowledge that he understood.

Shen’s body was discovered in Burnaby’s Central Park just hours after her family reported her missing in July of 2017.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team calls the case the biggest it has worked on in its history.

RCMP initially had 2,000 persons of interest but say Ali did not become a suspect until two weeks before his arrest – more than a year after Shen was killed – and police have not said what evidence put him on their radar.

No date has been set for the trial.