Father and son charged in Van Diest homicide
ARMSTRONG, B.C. – Two men were arrested on multiple charges Thursday, following a series of police investigations into the murder of 18-year-old Taylor Van Diest on October 31, 2011, and two other serious offenses that occurred in 2004 and 2005.
Taylor was murdered while walking to meet friends for a Halloween party.
The prime suspect, Matthew Stephen Foerster,26, formerly of Cherryville, B.C., was charged with the second degree murder of Taylor Van Diest.
He was also charged with sexual assault and unlawful confinement of a Kelowna woman employed at the Garden of Eden Escort Service in Kelowna, on April 12, 2005.
Additional charges have been laid in connection with a home invasion on October 19, 2004 in Cherryville BC, in which a 19-year-old woman was seriously assaulted.
Foerster was arrested without resistance shortly before 11:00 am (PST) on Wednesday April 4th, on a Canada- wide warrant, at a motel in Collingwood, Ontario, and will be taken to B.C. to face his charges.
Foerster’s father,58 -year-old Stephen Roy Foerster, of Cherryville, B.C. was arrested without incident at his home around 2:20 pm, on Wednesday and charged with obstructing justice and being an accessory to murder of Van Diest.
Both men remain in police custody.
“The arrests were the result of thousands of investigative man hours, thousands of tips and extensive forensic analysis and specialised investigative techniques and avenues,” said Insp. Brendan Fitzpatrick, Operations Officer for the RCMP’s B.C. Major Crime Section.
“The investigation is ongoing to establish a detailed time line of Matthew Foerster’s activities on the day and night of Taylor’s murder on October 31st, 2011 and his travel and activities from December 2011 to March 2012.”
“Throughout the investigation, we were mindful of the need to provide the immediate community of Armstrong, the Okanagan Region and the general public with as much information that we could in order to address public fear after this disturbing homicide. We had to strike a balance between what could be said and what was required to absolutely protect and maintain the integrity of the investigation. The extraordinary step of releasing of a composite sketch based on information from a 2005 Kelowna Sexual Assault investigation and linking DNA evidence was disclosed publically,” said Fitzpatrick.
“While the work done by the investigators cannot be overstated, I must also recognise the high degree of support and assistance received from the public and the media at large. The combined efforts stand as a prime example of the effectiveness of the public and media.”
RCMP have released a photo of Matthew Stephen Foerster to advance this investigation, and in an effort to determine whether there are any other offenses that need further review. Anyone who may have information is asked to call the specially created tip line 1-888-688-4264 established for this investigation.