In the quiet city of Armstrong, B.C., the 18-year-old left her house dressed as a zombie. She was excited to meet up with her pals to go trick-or-treating one last time before they were “too old.” Taylor stopped responding to text messages just after ten minutes into her short walk to her friend’s home.
As soon as she was presumed missing, a search ensued. She was found badly beaten and clinging to life two hours later by friends and family along a quiet stretch of train tracks.
The fun-loving girl with no known enemies died in hospital the next morning. It would take good old-fashioned police work coupled with forensic DNA evidence to bring her killer to justice.
Twenty-eight-year-old Cherryville resident Matthew Foerster was charged with first-degree murder in her death.
Foerster admitted he strangled Van Diest with his hands and a shoelace and crushed her skull with repeated blows from a heavy flashlight as she lay on the ground.
He was convicted of first-degree murder in April 2014, but was granted a new trial on appeal because of mistakes by the trial judge. He then pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
READ MORE: Van Diest family observes killer’s appeal
On June 4, 2018, Foerster was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years. The sentence means Foerster will not be eligible to apply for parole until April 4, 2029 – 17 years from the date of his arrest.
Crime Con 2019 is happening in New Orleans from June 7 to 9. To get 10 per cent off your CrimeCon 2019 ticket purchase, use the code POUTINE19.
Taylor Van Diest Facebook
Taylor Van Diest Press Conference (Nov.4/11)
Van Diest Suspect DNA (video)
RCMP Taylor Van Diest murder suspect (video)
R. v. Foerster, 2017 BCCA 105 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/h0b5z>
Foerster Pleads Guilty to Earlier Attacks
Foerster Sr. gets three years for enabling murderer’s escape
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