A teammate of the local soccer player, whose body was found on a forested lot in Maple Ridge, described his friend as a “gentle soul with an infectious smile.”
Kasra Rayani, who said he was a “very close friend” with Edi Bogere-Nyigwo, started a GoFundMe fundraising campaign earlier this month, to help his friend’s family offset funeral expenses and to “assist his family in this most difficult of times”.
The body of Bogere-Nyigwo, a member of national champion Coquitlam’s Sparta SC U-18 soccer squad, was discovered Jan. 11 on a vacant property in the 24500-block of Lougheed Highway.
Rayani, who was both a teammate and a classmate of Bogere-Nyigwo, and who currently works with his father, John Nyigwo, said his friend of 15 years grew up in Coquitlam and attended Vanier Elementary, Como Lake Middle School, and Centennial Secondary.
“He was known to many friends and acquaintances as a polite young man,” Rayani wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Rayani went on to describe Bogere-Nyigwo as an “exceptional athlete.”
“Edi’s memory will live on through his family and friends; he will be remembered as a kind and quiet young man” Rayani said.
“May his soul find peace.”
Bogere-Nyigwo was last seen leaving his Coquitlam home at 7 p.m. on Dec. 27, 2019.
“We don’t believe Edi’s death was random,” said the Integreated Homicide Investigation Team’s (IHIT) spokesperson, Sgt. Frank Jang.
“We believe there are still those with important information who have yet to speak with us,” said Jang, adding that Bogere-Nyigwo’s friends describe him as someone who avoided trouble.
“Many are wondering why anyone would harm him,” the friend said.
Rayani is hoping to raise $10,000 for the family. As of press deadline, $6,525 has been raised.
Rayani said he will be giving a bank draft to Bogere-Nyigwo’s father for the full amount of the money raised, once the fundraiser is complete.
In the meantime, IHIT is still calling on the public to help with ongoing investigation.
Investigators are working to determine motive and are calling on those who knew Bogere-Nyigwo to come forward.
There are no indications, so far, to suggest this incident is linked to any gang conflict, Jang said.
Anyone with information is being asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551- IHIT (4448), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
A celebration of life is being planned for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Burquitlam Funeral Home, 625 North Rd., in Coquitlam.