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Threatening letter shocks residents

RCMP are investigating the authenticity of a letter from an individual claiming responsibility for the death of an Armstrong teenager, and threatening more harm to women across B.C.

The letter was received at the Armstrong detachment on Wednesday.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said the letter writer claimed to be responsible for the Halloween night death of Taylor Van Diest, 18, and suggested possible further violence against women.

“We can state that the letter contains very limited information regarding the details of this crime,” said Moskaluk at a press conference Thursday at Vernon City Hall.

“As a result, we are unable to confirm that the letter was, in fact, written by the perpetrator.”

Moskaluk would not give any details about the  contents of the letter, whether it was hand-written or typed, or how it got to the detachment.

Police would like to hear from whoever wrote the letter, or from somebody who knows something about it.

“We would like to hear from the letter writer again,” said Moskaluk.

“Investigators would like the writer to contact them by telephone or letter as they would like to create a dialogue to prevent any further violence.”

A badly injured Van Diest was found by a family member and friends at 8:45 p.m. Oct. 31 in a bush area near the Rosedale Avenue railway tracks.

She left her home wearing a zombie-like Halloween costume and make-up at around 5:50 p.m. Her family reported her missing at 7:30 p.m.

She died later that night in Kelowna hospital.

Moskaluk confirmed again that police still do not have a suspect in the case.

A dedicated tip line has been established for all messages and information regarding the Van Diest murder, should someone wish to report information to the police.

The number to call is 1-888-688-4264.

While the investigation remains active and on-going, with a large number of personnel dedicated to it, the receipt of the letter, with its threatening nature, has enforced the need for police to re-issue a public request for extra vigilance.

“We are asking that the general public remain vigilant and continue to take extra personal safety precautions in our communities,” said Moskaluk.

Police recommend traveling in a group, or asking parents or friends for a ride. Travel areas of the community that have good visibility.

 

Let family or friends know where you are going and when you expect to arrive. If you have a cell phone, carry it.

 

 

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