Armstrong moves forward

Three weeks following the unsolved murder of a local teenager, and things in the City of Armstrong, says its mayor, are still not normal.

Three weeks following the unsolved murder of a local teenager, and things in the City of Armstrong, says its mayor, are still not normal.

But Chris Pieper and the RCMP hope a community event will help bring some normality back.

An invitation has been extended for Armstrong and all North Okanagan residents to attend the city’s annual downtown Christmas light up and tree lighting ceremony Thursday at 5 p.m.

“We want everybody to come out, join in the community and help us go forward,” said Pieper.

“The chamber is organizing a really good parade. Students will be down in the afternoon to decorate the Christmas tree. Still exercise caution, don’t let your guard down until the RCMP make an arrest on this.”

Taylor Van Diest, 18, a 2011 graduate of Pleasant Valley Secondary School, was found severely injured in a bush area near railroad tracks on Rosedale Avenue Oct. 31. She died later that night in hospital, and police determined her case to be a homicide.

Van Diest’s assailant, or assailants, remains at large.

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk said police have stepped up their presence in Armstrong with extra patrols by regular and auxiliary officers, as well as help from Citizens On Patrol.

Police encourage everybody to attend Thursday’s light up ceremony, and to continue to use safety precautions.

“Travel in groups, carry cell phones, and let people know where you’re going,” said Molendyk.

The attack on Van Diest, and the fact the suspect, or suspects, is still at large, has the community still  on edge.

“There’s fear, caution and all of the uncertainty that goes with it,” said Pieper. “I think caution is being portrayed around town. Hopefully this first part of the event will come to a close with somebody being caught.”

A dedicated tip line remains activated in the Van Diest investigation, and police again urge anyone with information regarding the homicide to please contact investigators via this phone line.

Police have received upwards of 50 tips to date and still want to hear from anyone with information to come forward.

If you have any information, call 1-888-688-4264.

 

Just Posted

Vernon CMHA celebrates therapeutic power of art

The 16th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale runs until July 23

PHOTOS: Splatsin canoe family completes eight-day journey

Splatsin youth, workers were Paddling Together from Powell River to Gibsons Beach

Quality Greens purchase points keep food on the table

New partnership between Quality Greens, Upper Room Mission is helping those in need

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mix of sun and cloud, chance of showers

Environment Canada is calling for a sunny weekend across the Okanagan

North Okanagan seeks provincial approval of bag ban

RDNO timeline to have ban in effect by 2020 may no longer be possible

When walls talk: Vernon murals see generation II

“This new movement, an app, will bring the strength of some of those same Vernon visionaries together again into a newdigital form”

Battle of blacksmiths returns to Okanagan vineyard

A battle of blacksmiths is returning for its second year in Lake Country

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Health: Living longer, a myth?

A new column to Black Press from CHIP HealthLine Solutions

Memorial plaques stolen from Okanagan cemetery

Four plaques were stolen from Lakeview Memorial Gardens in Kelowna

Sustainable farming summit coming to the Okanagan

Kelowna will soon host a summit on how the food industry can reduce its climate impact

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UBC Okanagan professor details wildfire risks

Associate professor David Scott provides details for the Okanagan’s wildfire season

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Most Read