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'Time stopped on that day': Ethan Bespflug's grieving family marks anniversary of his death

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April 11, 2023, marks a horrific, life-altering day that has been forever engrained in the minds of Ethan Bespflug’s family.

"It's like time stopped on that day,” said Holly Indridson, Bespflug’s mother. “It doesn't even feel like it's been a year.”

Her 17-year-old son was travelling on a bus in Surrey when he was stabbed. He was rushed to hospital but couldn’t be saved.

The bus was travelling near King George Skytrain Station at the time. A memorial was later held in a nearby park, where dozens of friends and family members gathered.

The incident sent shockwaves through the Lower Mainland – and the grief has been excruciating for Indridson and her young family.

"It's very, very hard. (My daughter) asks me almost every time we get in the vehicle if we're going to pick him up from school.”

On the anniversary of his death, Bespflug’s mother and stepfather, along with their two young daughters, wore T-shirts with his face printed on them.

Their youngest daughter pointed to her brother’s face and proudly exclaimed, “Ethan!”

The family has since moved to a new home, both to escape the memory of their terrible tragedy and to save money.

"It was a disaster because we were leaving behind his bedroom, we weren't setting up a room. His bed, his furniture, everything is just sitting in boxes in our living room,” said Indrigson,

She has yet to step on a bus since her son’s death.

"I can't even look at a bus, and they're everywhere. Every time I’m driving, it throws off my whole mindset."

Murder charge laid

A second-degree murder charge was laid nearly a week after Bespflug was killed.

Kaiden Mintenko, 20, was arrested in Burnaby and is set to face trial in December.

Bespflug’s parents say they won’t be attending, after his stepfather attended pre-trial and found it extremely difficult to bear.

New beginnings

While the past year has brought an unimaginable amount of pain to the family, there has been one blessing: the birth of their newborn son.

"All of a sudden we ended up with this little guy, Raymond. Ethan's middle name (was) Raymond,” said Indridson.

Her son’s middle names are also tributes to Bespflug’s cat, who died shortly after he was killed, and to the late teen’s best friend.

The two brothers will never meet but Indridson says Ethan’s memory will be a big part of their son’s life. 

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