VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
‘Remember the women’: vigil speaker
By Joe BarkovichTribune StaffWELLAND
Former Welland resident Diane Marin Rock, one of accused serial killer Robert William Pickton's 15 alleged victims, was remembered by family and friends Saturday in a candlelight vigil at Memorial Park.
Mourners Ella Marin and Carol Ann hold a vigil in front of a photo of former Welland resident Diane Rock, one of the alleged victims of accused B.C. serial killer Robert William Pickton. Those attending the candlelight vigil, held Saturday, were urged to 'Remember the women,' who have left behind grieving parents, siblings and in some cases children of their own.
It was one year to the day the petite, pretty mother of five, who would have turned 35 last month, was last seen in Vancouver.
"This was something that needed to be done," Rock's daughter Carol Ann, who now lives here, said about the vigil.
"My mother deserves this," said the 15-year-old.
The vigil was planned by Welland residents Lilliane Marin Beaudoin, one of Rock's sisters, and her husband Rene.
"As we loved you, so we miss you in our memories," Lilliane said reading a short but emotional family tribute as Rock's adoptive mother Ella Marin stood nearby. "You are near, loved, remembered and always in our thoughts bringing many silent tears."
But Rock was not the only victim whose name broke the nighttime quiet in the secluded park setting.
Lilliane and her husband Rene made certain the names of all 15 alleged murder victims and those of 48 missing women were announced during the vigil.
A balloon was released as each woman's name was read. White balloons paid tribute to the alleged murder victims; purple balloons to the women who are on the list of the missing. A slip of paper inside each balloon bore the name of a woman and the date she was last seen.
Though most of the women missing from Vancouver's seedy East Side neighbourhood were drug addicts and prostitutes, Rene Beaudoin said it was important to remember that each was a person. They had parents, siblings and some, like Rock, had children of their own, he said.
"Remember the women," Beaudoin told about 75 people who attended the one-hour vigil.
Growing up in Welland, Rock was a typical teen who loved ice skating, roller skating and the movies, said family friend Bob Beaudoin.
She married young and was trained as a health care worker. But she turned to exotic dancing to help make ends meet, "fell into the wrong crowd" and started using drugs, Bob Beaudoin said.
After she remarried and the drug use continued, Rock and her family moved to British Columbia "for what they hoped would be a new beginning and a new life," Bob Beaudoin said.
Rock distinguished herself in a new job working with developmentally delayed adults in Abbotsford, B.C., winning admiration of superiors and co-workers for her dedication and outstanding care.
But her problems with drug abuse surfaced again and her marriage began to fall apart. She took a three-month leave of absence from her job in April, 2001 but never returned, Bob Beaudoin said.
Rock disappeared Oct. 19, 2001, last seen by the owner of a downtown motel where she had been staying.
Her name was added to the Vancouver Missing Women's List on January 15, 2002. Then on April 1, 2002 one of her daughters was notified Pickton had been charged with her murder. The Beaudoins and others in the family got the news the next day.
Pickton was charged on the basis of DNA evidence found at the pig farm he co-owns in Port Coquitlam, about 35 km east of Vancouver.
© Copyright 2002 Welland Tribune
Updated: August 21, 2016