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Accused killer broke down in tears in police interview

Marie Van Diest speaks to reporters outside of Kelowna court on Friday. - Kathy Michaels/Black Press
Marie Van Diest speaks to reporters outside of Kelowna court on Friday.
— image credit: Kathy Michaels/Black Press

KATHY MICHAELS

Black Press

Matthew Foerster told investigators just a few days after his 2012 arrest that he was remorseful for killing Armstrong teen Taylor Van Diest.

His moment of apparent contrition was revealed to jurors during the second day of viewing Foerster’s seven-hour post-arrest interview.

“Look me in the eye Tell me this, do you feel bad for killing Taylor?” said  Sgt. Mark Davidson to Foerster.

Foerster offers a faint “yes” in reply.

“Has it been haunting you since that day?” Davidson asked.

Silence lingers until Davidson  cuts in with, “yeah, I know, man.”

He then asks Foerster if he tortured Van Diest or “did it for death.”

Foerster said “no.”

When asked if he did it for sex, Foerster replied; “I don’t know what to say.”

They were just a few moments of conversation, in lengthy video footage that mostly showed a heavier and more unkempt version of the 28-year-old crying repeatedly as police gently asked him questions about his family, and state of mind.

In the end, it appeared to be a taped plea for honesty that shook Foerster.

“We know he’s really scared right now and freaking out … but (he needs to admit what he’s done wrong, to our family and to himself,” said Foerster’s sister in a message played by Sgt. Mark Davidson.

When asked if she had any other messages for her brother, she said:  “I love him. I just love him very much.”

It may have moved Foerster to tears, but outside the courtroom Friday Van Diest’s parents said they weren’t buying it, and mother Marie Van Diest was bothered by the kid glove approach taken by police.

“It makes you really nauseous,” she said. “Most people think back to movies where they’re sitting in a cold, barren room with hard chairs. I wouldn’t mind to have one of those recliners to sit in at home. It was a soft and gentle approach.”

The day earlier took a heavier toll on the family.

Van Diest’s friend, Clay Valstar, 19, brought family back to the moment they realized the teen was found.

Valstar testified that he was meeting Van Diest and another friend for some trick-or-treating on Halloween night in 2011.

The jury was made privy to some playful texts between Valstar and Van Diest that night.

Their expectation, he said, was that they’d meet at around 6 p.m. But, a regular flow of messages came to an abrupt end after Van Diest sent a message to a mutual friend, that she was being “crepped.”

That prompted them to drive around looking for her, but after 90 minutes or so they called Van Diest’s house to say she was missing. Around that time the police were called.

Having learned that Van Diest’s phone had been found at the railroad tracks, they all went in that direction.

Two of the group had gone ahead down the dark path where the tracks lay, and Valstar testified he heard them scream. When he caught up he saw Van Diest face down on the ground, over a bit of a pit.

He grabbed her arm to see if she was OK, but there wasn’t much response.

He noticed a fair amount of blood, as well.

Van Diest later died of her injuries in Kelowna General Hospital.

Foerster has admitted he caused her injuries on Halloween 2011. How the injuries were caused and Foerster’s ability to form intent are lingering questions that have yet to be addressed.

 

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