Slain Okanagan woman and daughters to be remembered at vigil

“We wanted to make sure it didn’t go by without being noticed…”

Clara Forman and her two young daughters, Karina and Yesenia, will be remembered at a candlelight vigil in Kelowna tomorrow night, less than two weeks after their lives were taken.

“Myself and another good friend, we heard the news (that Clara and her daughters had been killed) and it felt so close to home,” said Sharon Fisher, one of two women who organized the event.

Fisher is from Mexico , her co-organizer is from Guatemala and they both have young children.

They also have a keen understanding of the isolation that comes with moving far from home and building a new life as a foreigner.

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“You leave everything behind when you come to Canada and to have something like that happen… we wanted to make sure it didn’t go by without being noticed,” she said.

“We also want women who may be in abusive situations to know there is help out there, so we have the Elizabeth Fry Society coming to give information.”

Fisher didn’t know Clara, and said that she’s reached out through the Latino community to see if anyone else did. So far, efforts have come up short. They’ve also yet to make contact with her family.

Regardless, she said that Clara and her children were family.

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“When you’re away from your own family, your Latino community becomes your family,” she said.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and there will be speakers, a moment of silence and Mexican music that would have made Clara feel at home.

“We want the (greater) community to be there, so the Latino community feels support of their neighbours,” she said.

Fisher said she’s also heard there will be a memorial for Clara and the children Dec. 31 at the Delta Grand.

Clara’s husband Jacob Forman has been charged with second degree murder for events that occurred between Dec. 17 and Dec. 19.

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No details on how the alleged crime occurred have been released. The Mounties have just said they were called to the Rutland home on a Tuesday afternoon where they found the bodies. Forman was taken into custody at that time and charged with three counts of murder the next day. He’s still in custody.

Clara met Forman at a religious retreat in Mexico, where he was training to be a pastor. She wrote on Facebook that she met Forman 12 years ago.

“Met in January, started dating in July, engaged Oct. 27, married three weeks later on Nov. 11 at sunset. When I married Jacob Forman I left everything I knew to come to Canada and build a life,” she wrote, Nov. 11, 2015.

“God blessed our feeble efforts with good jobs, good friends, a great church family and most importantly, two of the best little humans a couple of people could ask for. Ten years later you are still the person I want to grow old with.”

The vigil is scheduled to take place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 28, in Stuart Park, by the Christmas tree.

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