Shannon Rogers in happier times.

Shannon Rogers in happier times.

Family friend remembers Shannon Rogers as sweet girl who chose wrong path

Woman found dead in Colquitz River Park had reached out for help

As Bob Lane was sitting down to watch Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, he got a call from his daughter. She had just learned her long-time friend Shannon Rogers had been found dead in Colquitz River Park three days earlier.

“I feel sorry for what the (Rogers’) family must be going through,” Lane said.  “I feel sorry for my daughter (Heather), who lost a really good friend. That’s what happens when you chose the wrong path in life.”

Heather, who now lives in Halifax, met Rogers when they were five year olds at Wishart elementary school in Colwood. Through their close friendship, Lane and his wife Shelly got to know Rogers well.

”She was sweet. She was a nice girl,” he said.

The last time Lane saw Rogers healthy was at his house during the Christmas holidays, 2003. Shortly afterward, Rogers fell into a lifestyle of drug use and prostitution.

“Shannon did call and ask for help,” Lane said. “My wife met her and took her to our church pastor. He met with her twice and came back to us and said ‘She’s just not ready to give up the lifestyle.’ So, there was nothing we could do.”

His daughter stayed in touch with Rogers during visits home, until their friendship dissolved over Rogers’ lifestyle.

“It’s upsetting. Here was this beautiful young girl that we had all known as a child through adolescence and she’s murdered. It’s emotional. It’s difficult.”

As a member of the Colwood Rotary Club, Lane co-organizes an annual golf tournament to fund education and support services related to crystal meth addiction.

“This need not happen to our youth,” Lane said.

Rogers was reported missing to VicPD by her boyfriend on June 10. A boy walking with his father in the park, located behind Tillicum Centre, found Roger’s badly decomposed body just after 2 p.m., June 11.

Earlier this year, Rogers was found guilty of possession of a controlled substance. She was known to VicPD and to PEERS, a non-profit group that provides assistance to sex trade workers.

The results of an autopsy have yet to be released.

Anyone with information on Rogers that might help is asked to call Saanich police at 250-475-4356.

-with files from Kyle Slavin

nnorth@saanichnews.com