For the husband and children of Charlene Reaveley, a mother of four who was killed in a hit-and-run crash last year, the roadside memorial at Lougheed and Pitt River Road is a solemn place.
Flowers, pictures and other mementoes are left at the site as a way for friends and family to remember and connect with the person they lost.
So when the memorial was vandalized Friday morning, Kim Debenedictis, a family friend, said the Reaveleys were understandably upset.
"The kids drive past there and they like to drop stuff off," she said. "It is a positive place for them. We try and make it as beautiful as we possibly can."
Glass candle holders from the year-old memorial were smashed and pictures were knocked over at some point between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday.
This is the fourth time the site has been vandalized but Debenedictis said they have now wired their mementos to the fencing, making it easier for people pull them apart.
"It is very frustrating for everybody," she said. "It just makes us all feel pretty sick that somebody can do that. I don't get how they can sleep at night."
On the night of the crash Reaveley had stopped to assist another motorist, Lorraine Cruz, who had been involved in a minor accident, when both women were struck by a passing vehicle. Reaveley and Cruz were killed and Cruz's friend Paulo Calimahin was seriously injured.
After police made a public appeal for the driver of the vehicle to come forward, Cory Sater turned himself in. He is expected to face trial in 2013.
Coquitlam RCMP is seeking the public's assistance in locating the people responsible for the damage. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Mounties at 604-945-1550 and quote file number 2012-7607. Those who wish to provide information anonymously can do so by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or going to www.solvecrime.ca.