'We got a life sentence'

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.

About 200 people gathered today outside a historic schoolhouse along the Gorge Waterway, just steps away from the beach where Victoria teenager Reena Virk was murdered 20 years ago.

Virk was 14 when she was swarmed by a group of teenagers and later drowned by two people who followed her after she limped away from a beating.

Education Minister Rob Fleming paid tribute to the Virk family, who turned their grief into a public campaign against bullying.

Warren Glowatski and Kelly Ellard were convicted of second-degree murder in separate trials. Glowatski was 16 at the time of Virk's death and has been released on parole, while Ellard, who was 15, remains in prison.

Virk's death made international headlines for its chilling account of teenage bullying, but it also spearheaded anti-bullying campaigns.

– The Canadian Press

ORIGINAL: 10:15 a.m.

It's been 20 years since the brutal murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk in Victoria.

Her family is holding a public ceremony today at the Craigflower Schoolhouse, close to where she was beaten and drowned.

It was Nov. 14, 1997, when Virk was swarmed and beaten by teenagers underneath the Craigflower Bridge.

Warren Glowatski, who was 16 at the time, and Kelly Ellard, then 15, were both convicted of second-degree murder.

Parents Manjit and Suman Virk cling to memories of their daughter.

"I think that we got a life sentence,” Suman told CTV. "We're going to have that pain of the loss forever.”

Ellard, who held Reena's head underwater in the Gorge Waterway, is now 33 and a mother to a child born during her sentence. She remains behind bars and has a day parole hearing later this month.

Glowatski was granted full parole in 2010 after admitting to his role in the murder.

– with files from CTV Vancouver Island

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