Hundreds mourn in Armstrong, B.C.
Hundreds of people gathered in an Armstrong, B.C., park on Sunday to mourn the recent deaths of four young people, including a teenager killed Halloween night.
Taylor Van Diest, 18, was found severely beaten near railroad tracks in the town in the province’s southern Interior after leaving home to meet with friends. Van Diest died later in hospital.
Her death was the third tragedy to hit the small community in the past month.
Several weeks ago, 18-year-old Cullen Rowan was killed in a workplace accident.
And in October, two children from Armstrong — Ava-Mae Classen, 5, and Austin Classen, 4 — were killed in a motorhome fire in the Fraser Canyon, northeast of Vancouver.
On Sunday, about 400 people gathered at Armstrong's Memorial Park to mourn for the young lives lost, singing and lighting candles in tribute.
The memorial began with a prayer and a moment of silence for the deceased. Many mourners brought flowers to lay by a large tree, and all wore green ribbons as a symbol of community solidarity.
Jim Clipperton, who employed Rowan, said the recent deaths have been hard on the community.
"This town is so close and there are so many people in this town that — yeah, it's proud. You can't help but be proud of this town," he said."It's a very very close-knit community."
Police continue to investigate Van Diest's slaying. No arrests have been made.