Vancouver police photo shows 20-year-old April Lynn Reoch. Reoch was
featured in Through a Blue Lens.
She was the poster girl in a Vancouver police department documentary
film about all that can go wrong with life on the streets using hard
The transformation of April Lynn Reoch from young red-headed beauty to
a barely recognizable drug-ravaged skeleton in the National Film
Board-produced film Through a Blue Lens sent a graphic message to young
audiences of the horrors of heroin and cocaine.
April made at least five attempts at getting off drugs through various
detox programs, and by the age of 24, April had a bad heart condition from
Doctors told April she would have to change her lifestyle because of
the heart condition, and for a time she did, staying at a Surrey recovery
house to get her life in order.
But the lure of the street was too much and April was found dead in a
rooming house on East Hastings Street on Christmas morning.
Now, friends and the police officers who shot the eye-opening film are
waiting for an autopsy report to find out exactly what killed April.
They do know she skipped out of her recovery house after getting a
$6,000 cheque from the Squamish band for being a status Indian.
And that money in her pocket may have been just too much of a
temptation, says Vancouver police Const. Al Arsenault, who works on the
force's anti-drug unit called the Odd Squad.
"With $6,000 given to an addict, that could throw the whole
recovery process off," said Arsenault.
"All it takes is one little step in their recovery and they're
"She had a bad heart, but she could have been murdered for the
money," added Arsenault.
Arsenault said by showing April's decline, the film hit home to young
"She became our poster girl for kids coming down and getting
hooked on drugs," he said.
"It had a real impact."
April's friend Danny Dee, 38, said she had a tough upbringing and by
the age of 17 was on the street. He also questioned the type of recovery
program that was available to April.
"The recovery house, they didn't have enough resources for that
type of person," he said last night .
"With more resources we could have had a different outcome."