Halloween murder, cops up presence

The RCMP will have an increased presence in Armstrong Wednesday - Halloween.

It was on Halloween evening one-year ago that Armstrong teen Taylor Van Diest was found murdered next to the rail line in that community.

She had been walking alone to a friend's house for Halloween.

Matthew Stephen Foerster is currently in custody facing first degree murder charges in the death of Van Diest.

"We will have a visible presence in the Armstrong area tomorrow (Wednesday) evening," says RCMP spokesman, Gord Molendyk.

"We are well aware the vast majority of people in Armstrong felt the affects of last year's homicide, so we will have a visible presence on the first anniversary. We will have a few extra police cars patrolling, our Citizens On Patrol patrolling, we'll have an auxiliary presence."

With the anticipated wet weather and the fact Halloween is mid-week, Molendyk says police expect a fairly quiet night.

"It is more for reassurance of the public that we have a police presence out there. We are aware of the impact this had on the community and we want to show our support to those residents."

A candlelight walk will be held tonight in the North Okanagan community of Armstrong, B.C., marking the first anniversary of the death of Taylor Van Diest.

Armstrong Mayor, Chris Pieper, wants people to be safe.

"We just ask everybody, as in every small community everyday of the year, just to be cautious. It could happen, not only on Halloween but any night of the year."

Pieper says all they ask is for people to leave a porch light on to make their home a welcome house if anything does happen.

The one tradition that will continue in Armstrong is the Halloween bonfire put on by the Fire Department each Halloween at the Armstrong Fair Grounds.

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