For the second time in recent weeks, residents of Tessier Place have met with police and St. John's city officials Wednesday night.

The meeting came after not only a killing on the downtown street that launched a murder investigation, but the discovery just hours earlier that the grave of victim Joey Whalen had been disturbed.

About 30 residents filed into a room at city hall to talk about drugs and other crimes that have been on the rise in their neighbourhood for years.

Rick Page, who has lived in the area for more than two decades, said Whalen's violent death nearly three weeks ago was the last straw.

"I think what is happening in the neighbourhood is people are coming together, saying, 'Why is this going on in our neighbourhood, and let's talk about it to see what we can do,' " said Page.


Rick Page has lived in the Tessier Place neighbourhood for almost two decades. (CBC)

Attendees want to form a neighbourhood association, and are even planning a spring cleanup and barbecue.

But those positives were overshadowed by the bizarre twist in the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary's murder investigation.

Sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday, Whalen's grave was dug up and vandalized.

"Sick people, I mean why would anybody do that," said Page.

"What purpose does that solve? Let the poor man lay. I guess it's a sad commentary on what is going on in that neighbourhood, that there are people that would do that. God knows what their reason is."

Police continue to investigate the incident at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, which shocked many at Wednesday night's meeting.

A number of people reserved comment, fearing they might be targeted next.