A teenage boy has been arrested and charged in the brutal beating death of B.C. teen Laura Szendrei last year.

The 18-year-old North Delta boy was arrested Sunday and charged with first-degree in Szendrei's murder, police announced Monday. Because he was only 17 at the time of the beating, the suspect cannot be named.

Delta Police Sgt. Sharlene Brooks told reporters that there is nothing to suggest that Szendrei knew her alleged attacker. She said Szendrei was likely targeted when "an opportunity presented itself."

Szendrei was found clinging to life on a trail in suburban Mackie Park on Sept. 25, and died a day later in hospital. She was heading to a football game at a local high school when she was attacked in broad daylight.

Until now, investigators have had few answers about what happened to Szendrei -- including whether the beating was random or targeted.

Szendrei's parents Mike and Rachel made a tearful appearance at the press conference announcing the arrests.

Mike Szendrei fought back sobs as he thanked police investigators.

"At the beginning, I honestly didn't think the police would come through, but they did," he said. "Thank you to everyone that's helped us."

Rachel Szendrei said the family was dealing with mixed emotions in the wake of the arrest.

"We feel the same depth of loss, grief and heartbreak, but today for the first time we also have a sense of relief," she said.

"We know this road is far from over and there will be many more hills to climb as we have to continually deal with the fact that someone took Laura's life."

The suspect, who was a student last year at Sands Secondary School, made a brief court appearance Monday.

The judge ordered him held in custody, while the Crown says it will seek an adult sentence for the accused.

The investigation into Szendrei's death is still ongoing, Brooks said, and police are looking into possible connections to past assaults against women on nearby running and walking trails.

In October, city workers cleared the brush in Mackie Park to create better sight lines for pedestrians.