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30 years later: New West woman’s murder remains unsolved

Crysta Lynn David was last seen alive at downtown nightclub in March 1992

Crysta Lynn David met up with some friends at a New West nightclub on the night of March 20, 1992. It would be the last time she was seen alive.

When her grandmother Edna Hickey couldn’t get in touch with her, she contacted the New Westminster Police Department. Officers entered her suite and discovered the body of David, who had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

Each March, David’s godmother Lorna Darby phones the New Westminster Police Department to see if there have been any developments in the case.

“There doesn’t seem to be anything new,” she said.

In February, Vancouver police announced they had identified the remains of two children who had been murdered and found in Stanley Park in 1953. Darby hasn’t given up hope that her goddaughter’s killer will be found.

“Those two bodies in Stanley Park, they identified them after so many years,” Darby said. “The grandmother, Edna Hickey, her one goal in life was to find out who murdered Crysta. Unfortunately she died without knowing that. I have just taken it upon myself to phone every year.”

According to Darby, David had been living with her grandmother in a home near Tipperary Park until March 1, 1992, when she moved into a small basement suite in the 1100 block of Fourth Avenue. On March 10, she turned 21 and less than two weeks later she was dead.

“It was so hard on Edna,” she recalled. “She didn’t want Crysta to move out in the first place. Crysta was her baby – not her baby, but she was so close to Crysta. But Crysta wanted her independence.”

Media reports from March 1992 stated David was last seen on the evening of Friday, March 20, 1992 at a former bar in downtown New West called California Dreamin’, located in the vicinity of today’s New Westminster SkyTrain station. She was found deceased in her residence five days later.

“The victim had arrived at the club at round 11:30 p.m. and is believed to have left at approximately 2:15 a.m.,” a New Westminster police officer told the Province newspaper at the time of her death. “The victim sat near the nightclub’s pool tables and was last seen talking to an unknown blond male towards the end of the evening.”

“Don’t Forget Crysta”

With March 2022 marking 30 years since David’s murder, Darby hopes someone may come forward with that may help solve the case.

“Where are they with it? What’s happening? Don’t forget Crysta,” she said, when asked if she has a message for police investigators. “I am just hoping that after 30 years that maybe somebody else has a conscience of knowing something.”

Darby said David’s grandmother died in October 2013 never knowing who had killed her granddaughter, and David’s mother still longs for answers about her daughter’s death.

“Closure,” she said.

New Westminster Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Sanjay Kumar said David’s murder “is very much an active and open investigation” with the department’s major crime unit.

“Our detectives acknowledge that families of homicide victims will never forget the loss of their loved one, regardless of the passage of time and hope to one day receive news that a perpetrator has been identified and arrested,” he said in a statement to the Record. “Our major crime unit detectives haven’t forgotten about this case, and neither should the community.”

The New Westminster Police Department did not respond to specific questions from the Record about the case, such as whether there have ever been suspects in David’s murder and whether DNA has been a factor in the investigation.

Police ask anyone who has information about David’s murder and has not yet spoken to police to call the NWPD at 604-525-5411.

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus



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