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Diane Rock

Remembered as struggling mother of five who never
gave up

By Dene Moore
The Canadian Press

Dianne Rock added the second `n' to her name because ``she thought it was fancier with a double 'n,'''laughs her sister.

Lilliane Beaudoin remembers her sister as a fun, kind woman who faced many obstacles but never quit.

``She did have a lot of trouble in her life," Beaudoin says. "She did try her best and she did struggle a lot."

Born Sept. 2, 1967, Dianne Rosemary was eventually adopted by Denis and Ella Marin of Welland, Ont.

"My sister Denise brought her home to baby sit her one night and we noticed she had developed a cold, so we kept her for a few days," says Beaudoin, who was 13 when Dianne came into her life.

The whole family _ including three older sisters and an older brother _ fell in love with the giggling, happy baby, she says.

"The mother was in a bad situation herself and was unable to care for Dianne, so eventually we were able to legally adopt Dianne," Beaudoin says.

She says Rock was a happy child and then a typical teen who liked hanging out with her friends and going to school dances.

"She had to keep on the go all the time," says her sister. "She had a lot of girlfriends and she was well-liked."

At 15, Dianne got pregnant. She quit school and became a single mother to Melissa. By 17, she was married, and she had Donnie, followed a year later by Carol-Ann. She divorced a short time later.

Rock later met her second husband, Darren Rock, father of her two youngest children, Darren and Justin.

It wasn't easy raising five children at such a young age, Beaudoin says, but "she tried her hardest."

Rock's daughter, Carol-Ann Cote, says her mother was a good woman who did her best before the drugs got her in their grip.

"She took care of us very well at first," Cote told the Hamilton Spectator.

"She couldn't handle the drugs. She was not capable of taking care of anybody, not even herself _ at the time."

In Wellington, Rock worked part-time as a health-care aide at a nursing home and family members say she lived a quiet life with her kids and her family nearby.

But when she moved to Brantford, Ont., Rock began working as an exotic dancer.

"That's where the money was," her childhood friend, Lorrie Addis, told the Hamilton Spectator. "She needed a job and she was a cute little thing."

Her loved ones believe it was during this time she first reached for drugs to get by, giving her the courage to get up on stage.

In 1992, Rock overdosed on cocaine. She and her husband decided to move to British Columbia for a fresh start.

Eventually, they settled in Abbotsford, about an hour's drive northeast of Vancouver.

There, Rock started a job as a community support worker in November 1998, working with mentally challenged adults.

"She was a wonderful support worker," says LaVerne Nickel, program director for the society and Rock's supervisor. "She was gentle and kind and very empowering to people."

She says Rock worked with a diverse group and enjoyed taking them out into the community.

At work, she continued in the dedicated, friendly way clients and co-workers had come to expect of her. Nobody suspected the struggle she was waging with addiction.

"There was no preceding issues or situations that any of us could put our finger on. Absolutely not," Nickel says.

Earlier in 2001, Rock was enrolled at a private college in Surrey, taking a six-month course to upgrade her skills.

A former college classmate remembered her in an online memorial as a quiet, gentle person who was "troubled by her past and quest into the future."

"We did our best to comfort her and hoped that she would get past all of her troubles," the classmate wrote on a website dedicated to Vancouver's missing women.

Rock began missing a lot of classes and took a leave of absence from her job in April 2001, calling it a stress leave. She was scheduled to return that May but her co-workers never heard from her again.

In 2000, Rock and her husband separated and her family says she began the descent back into drug addiction. She began hanging out in bars and coming home late.

She failed to show up for Carol-Ann's 13th birthday in 2001 and last spoke to her daughter that July.

"She promised me she was going to get off drugs," Carol-Ann told the Hamilton Spectator. "She said it was hard for her. She didn't know how to deal with it."

Police say Dianne Rosemary Rock was last seen in October, 2001. She was 34.

2006 The Canadian Press

MISSING LIVES - The Canadian Press
 

Five years ago a pig farm near Vancouver became one of Canada's largest crime scenes
 
What followed were headlines about the massive forensic investigation and 26 murder charges against Robert William Pickton.
Far from the headlines have been the stories of the dead women. Twenty-six women who lived on and disappeared from the streets of Canada's most dismal inner-city neighbourhood Vancouver's bleak Downtown Eastside. Twenty-six missing lives.

In the five years since the Pickton pig farm made national headlines, the memories of the women have faded even further from the public spotlight. When mentioned, they are usually referred to only as "drug addicts" or "street prostitutes." They are often only numbers 26 victims, their names seldom used in news reports. All of the stories behind the names have never been told. Until now.

The Canadian Press, Canada's independent news agency, felt those stories needed to be told. Six reporters from across the country spent hundreds of hours researching details not previously reported. The result is Missing Lives: profiles on each of the 26 women.

Missing Lives reveals the 26 women as daughters, sisters, mothers: troubled souls whose lives touched others in lasting ways.

 

Email: wleng@missingpeople.net 

Missing Women Tip Line: 1-877-687-3377

Updated: January 01, 2007