Final public vigil marks five year anniversary of Armstrong teen's murder

Taylor Van Diest
Image Credit: Contributed

ARMSTRONG - Tonight will mark the last public memorial walk for Armstrong’s Taylor Van Diest.

The 18-year-old was murdered five years ago on Halloween while walking to meet up with some friends.

Every year since her death, family members have organized a candlelight vigil and memorial walk along the railway tracks where she was found badly beaten, but her mother Marie Van Diest says this will be the last public gathering.

“It’s just become too taxing on the health,” Van Diest says of the event.

Aside from reliving the trauma of Oct. 31, 2011, the family is also waiting to find out if convicted killer Matthew Foerster will be granted an appeal. He was found guilty of first degree murder in the death and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. He has since appealed the verdict, saying the judge made errors at the trial. 

In the future, Van Diest says the family will mark the anniversary of Taylor’s death privately. The decision is not meant to exclude the community, it just puts too much stress on the family, she says. She hopes people will still remember Taylor in their own way, such as visiting the memorial trail created in her honour, at any time throughout the year. 

“It doesn’t have to be on a certain date,” she says.

Anyone who wishes to participate in the final candlelight vigil is asked to meet at Glad Tidings Church, on Pleasant Valley Road, at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1. 


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