Model search cancelled after SFU student’s murder

Maple Batalia, 19, was one of the finalists in the Central City Shopping Centre event.

The Central City Model Search finale planned for this weekend has been postponed indefinitely after one of the finalists was gunned down in a Central City parkade.

Maple Batalia, 19, was shot to death Wednesday morning on the third floor of the parkade near the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University. She had been studying late with friends, and left for her car at just after 1 a.m.

She died in hospital.

The aspiring model and actress, who was taking health sciences courses at SFU, was also a finalist in this weekend’s Central City Model Search.

Organizers have postponed the event indefinitely.

Central City Marketing and Communications Director Michelle MacKay said there has been no determination when or if the event will continue.

“We’re just evaluating all of that right now, it’s too soon,” MacKay said Thursday. “We just have way too many things to deal with right now.”

The decision to postpone the event was made late Wednesday out of respect to Batalia and her family.

“We did not feel it was appropriate to go forward with (the event) at this time,” MacKay said.

If the event is going to be rescheduled, organizers plan to provide plenty of notice.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com