Two lion statues sit beside a bench at the grave sites of United Nations gang members Duane Meyer and Evan Appell on April 25, 2020 in Vedder View Gardens Cemetery in Chilliwack. Some time after that date, the statues went missing. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Two lion statues sit beside a bench at the grave sites of United Nations gang members Duane Meyer and Evan Appell on April 25, 2020 in Vedder View Gardens Cemetery in Chilliwack. Some time after that date, the statues went missing. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Lion statues stolen from United Nations gang members’ grave site in Chilliwack

Two stone statues went missing from cemetery where Duane Meyer and Evan Appell are buried

Who would steal statues from the grave sites of members of B.C.’s most notorious gang?

That’s the question friends and family of Duane Meyer and Evan Appell are asking after two-foot-high stone lion statues went missing in recent weeks from the ornate burial site at Vedder View Gardens Cemetery in Chilliwack.

The grave sites of United Nations gang members Duane Meyer and Evan Appell on June 16, 2020 in Vedder View Gardens Cemetery in Chilliwack. There were two lion statues at the grave site that went missing in recent weeks. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Many Chilliwack residents may not know the ornate grave sites dedicated to two United Nations (UN) gang members are in Chilliwack, but 12 years ago when Meyer’s funeral was held, it drew full-patch members of the Hells angels and UN gang members, as well as broadcast media and police attention who video recorded those in attendance.

The two grave stones feature the large UN logo prominently below Chinese characters and above the words “Honor. Loyalty. Respect.” Both graves also include the saying: “United forever, forever united.”

There are also Japanese maple trees planted at the grave site and a black stone bench with the words: “Gone but never forgotten.”

Duane Harvey Meyer was a former Hells Angels prospect and UN gang member who, at age 41, was gunned down in Abbotsford on March 8, 2008. Evan Appell was a UN gang member who died of a drug overdose on March 3, 2005.

Sitting on either side of the bench for more than a decade were two stone lions, statues that went missing in recent weeks. As of April 25 when a Progress reporter walked by, the lions were there, but family and friends recently reported on social media outrage at the theft of lions from the site.

“I’m beyond livid,” one individual close to the family posted. “They need to be replaced.”

“Regardless of public opinion toward the lifestyles of the two men, how can desecration of a grave be acceptable and not spoken of,” a source told The Progress.

No one so far close to the two men have wanted to speak on the record about the stolen statues, given the serious nature of the gang ties involved.

As for the cemetery, an employee said no police report had been filed, in part because theft of minor items such as flower pots, even a tarp, is not uncommon.

“Things go missing from cemeteries.”

Even an individual close to the family who is upset about the theft does not assume it was a specific attack on the men or even the UN gang, but more likely just random property theft.

There is a move to have the statues replaced from a store in Vancouver’s Chinatown, which is where the original lions were purchased.

• RELATED: Chilliwack cemetery owner says he’s running out of burial space


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The grave sites of United Nations gang members Duane Meyer and Evan Appell on June 16, 2020 in Vedder View Gardens Cemetery in Chilliwack. There were two lion statues at the grave site that went missing in recent weeks. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

The grave sites of United Nations gang members Duane Meyer and Evan Appell on June 16, 2020 in Vedder View Gardens Cemetery in Chilliwack. There were two lion statues at the grave site that went missing in recent weeks. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother missing for four weeks

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged in Coquihalla crash showed ‘wanton and reckless disregard for other people’s lives’: Crown

Despite already having brake issues, Roy McCormack tackled the steepest hill on the infamous highway

Abbotsford International Airport. Black Press file photo.
Abbotsford Airport had 4th highest traffic in Canada in 2020, and its number are down

Statistics Canada report describes a ‘devastating year’ for air travel

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

Chilliwack’s Ryan Wugalter with his kids, three-year-old Mira and 15-month-old Solomon. Wugalter recently released his children’s album Super Giraffe. (Submitted)
Chilliwack father releases children’s album, songs about superhero giraffe and not eating magnets

Inspiration for Ryan Wugalter’s new album ‘Super Giraffe’ came from his two young kids

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read