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Update: Missing Women Joint Task Force

Sunday, July 20th, 2003

The Missing Women Task Force is executing a new search warrant in relation to the missing women investigation. Early this morning task force investigators began sealing off an area located just east of the Ruskin Bridge in Mission on the south side of the Lougheed Highway. This land is designated First Nations property and today the First Nations Band responsible for this area was served with the search warrant.

The search of this area has been launched as a result of evidence uncovered during the course of the missing women investigation. Because we have a case before the courts we are unable to go into any detail with regard to what that evidence is or how it pertains to our investigation.

The search site is approximately 350 meters in length and 50 meters in width, and it consists mainly of wetlands, a slough and groundcover. There are no buildings on this property. Some of the staff from our ongoing search of the Port Coquitlam farm property will be conducting this search, along with an eight-member team of RCMP divers.

Two of the four soil sifters we have been using during our search of the Port Coquitlam farm property have been shut down, so we can excavate and search the soil underneath them. The 52 anthropologists who were manning those two sifters will be searching the new site in Mission. We still have two sifters and 52 anthropologists continuing their work on the Port Coquitlam property.

In preparation for this search the task force has worked with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the BC Conservation Office and a senior biologist from a private, environmental consulting firm.
We have been assured that our operation will not negatively impact the area wildlife and natural fish habitat. and, through ongoing consultation with our environmental experts, we will replace any vegetation they advise us to at the end of this search. We are taking every precaution necessary in order not to negatively impact the ecosystem

-more-

This search will begin with the groundcover being cut away by private contractors. From that point a line search will be conducted and ground raking will be undertaken by the search team. The RCMP dive team is assisting by examining the extensive slough area. We are unable to give any definitive time frame with regard to the duration of this search. It’s important to point out that we will only be clearing away tall grass and weeds and cutting back bushes in order to search underneath them. There will be an on-site, environmental consultant while the cutting is underway

Approximately 1500 meters of fencing has been installed to secure the search area and we will have 24-hour security on site. To protect the integrity of our investigation and to provide a safe environment for the divers, we will be utilizing a Zodiac boat to patrol the mouth of the slough and to turn away any marine craft attempting to enter the area. A tent will be erected on the east side of the Ruskin Bridge to provide the searchers some protection from the elements during their breaks.

We are requesting the cooperation and patience of motorists and pedestrians during the course of this investigation. The search is located immediately adjacent to a high-traffic area of the Lougheed Highway. Electronic Traffic Management signs are being installed for the duration of this search and some no-parking and no-pedestrian signs will be placed in certain areas.

We have mentioned before that there are many facets to this investigation and that hasn’t changed. While most of our resources have been utilized for our ongoing search of the farm property in Port Coquitlam and to follow up on associated leads, we are continuing our reviews of outstanding missing women cases and we continue to pursue other aspects of this investigation.

As this investigation unfolds, we are continuing to seek public assistance and we ask anyone who may have information in relation to this case to phone our tip line. The tip line number is 1-877-687-3377.

We have provided access for the media on our new search site, however, due to the high-traffic volume we are asking the media to please abide by certain rules for their own safety. There is a media staging point immediately adjacent to our main search area, on the north side of the highway. We have chosen this area because, over the course of the search, this will provide the media with a clear view of the search area and the investigation taking place within it. This area will be open for media attendance from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day. Today it will be open from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The restricted access is due to the fact that we don’t have the resources available to facilitate the media for longer periods of time. There will not be any interviews granted at the staging area. The sole purpose of this area is to provide an opportunity for the photographers and reporters to obtain photos and view the scene.

The media are asked to please have media identification on their person when they attend the site. We are also requesting that the media enter the access area while approaching on the highway from the east, due to the fact that it is too dangerous for their vehicles to enter this access area from the west. If you are traveling from the west, please continue 1.2 kilometers past the media staging area to the Hayward and Donatelli intersection. At this point you will be able to make a safe and legal turn to approach the staging area from the east. These rules will be strictly enforced by police officers on scene so we are asking for the cooperation of the media.

-30-

Presented by: RCMP Cpl. Catherine Gallliford and VPD Detective/Cst. Sheila Sullivan

Released by Cpl. Pierre Lemaitre, Stragegic Communications Unit, "E" Division HQ

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email: media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

 

Update: Missing Women Joint Task Force

Monday, March 17th, 2003

The Missing Women Joint Task Force is in the process of doubling the number of anthropology specialists currently searching 14 acres of farm property in Port Coquitlam, BC. The Task Force is hiring 51 additional anthropologists from across Canada to join the 52 who have been searching the property since June 3rd, 2002. These specialists are at various stages of their academic careers and have been selected by the Task Force for their expertise in Human Osteology.

25 of the new specialists started working on the property early this month, while 26 will begin in early May. Their job is to thoroughly search the soil on the property, which initially was divided into 216 grids, each measuring 20 x 20 metres. They will be manning new equipment, including screeners and conveyor belts, which will enable them to thoroughly search the soil for anything which holds potential evidentiary value. The additional equipment and manpower will double the search capacity of the ongoing investigation on the property, which began in February 2002.

In addition to the 103 anthropology positions, there are presently 36 investigators and support staff on the site. The Task Force expects the search to continue until at least the fall of 2003.


Released by:


Cst. Catherine Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Cst. Sarah Bloor
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

 

Missing Women Joint Task Force Locates on the 63 missing women

December 4, 2002

The Missing Women Joint Task Force has located one of the 63 women missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Tanya Colleen Emery, 38, has been located residing in central Canada. She was reported missing by a concerned relative in March of this year and the Task Force began investigating her disappearance. She was added to the official list of missing women in July. Emery told investigators that she was unaware she had been reported missing

The number of women missing from the Downtown Eastside now stands at 62.



Released by:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Cst. Sarah Bloor
Vancouver Police - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Statement Issued by Joint Missing Task Force (with Update) - November 27, 2002 @ 10:30 am

Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Sarah Bloor, Cst.
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

November 27, 2002

The Missing Women Joint Task Force is seeking public assistance in locating four women. Two of these women match the profile that the task force is interested in. The other two women do not match the profile, however, they are outstanding, historical missing person cases and the task force is hoping that someone has information which may assist in locating them.


Marilyn Ann Moore (Image 1)
Date of Birth: 1951 Sept. 25
Date Last Seen: 1985 Apr. 11
Reported Missing: 1986 Jun. 25

Moore is a caucasian female, 5'6" tall, with brown hair and hazel eyes. She has a history of drug use but there is no indication of involvement in the sex trade. Moore's family, residing in the United States, lost contact with her in1982 when she was living in Vancouver. They traveled to Vancouver in 1986 in an attempt to locate her and, when they were unsuccessful, they reported her missing.

Verna Littlechief (Image 2)
Date of Birth: 1944 Jul. 02
Date Last Seen: 1978
Reported Missing: 2002 Mar. 04

Littlechief is a native female, 5'2" tall, with black, shoulder length hair. Littlechief was involved in the sex trade in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and has a history of alcohol abuse. Her family reported her missing last March to the RCMP in Saskatchewan as a result of the extensive media attention surrounding the missing women investigation. Littlechief may also be known as Bernie Roberts.


Lenora Elizabeth Olding (Image 3)
Date of Birth: 1967 Sept. 27
Date Last Seen: 1986 Oct. 16
Reported Missing: 1986 Oct.18

Olding is a caucasian female, 5'5" tall, 130 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen leaving her Vancouver residence in 1986. There is no indication that Olding was a substance abuser and she was not involved in the sex trade.


Elizabeth Chalmers (Image 4)
Date of Birth: 1945 May 02
Date Last Seen: 1999 Feb. 22
Reported Missing: 1999 Feb. 23

Chalmers is a caucasian female 5'8" tall, 140 lbs., with long, blond hair. Chalmers does not have a history involving drugs or the sex trade. She did reside in Vancouver at the time of her disappearance, but was not known to frequent the Downtown Eastside.

Chalmers and Olding will not be added to the official list of Missing Women as they do not match the profile. Littlechief and Moore will not be added at this time. The Joint Missing Women Task Force will wait to see if this media release generates any tips that assist us in locating them. If they are not located we will consider adding them to the official list. As it stands the official list of Missing Women remains at 63.

Anyone with information that might assist investigators in locating these women is asked to call the Missing Women Joint Task Force at 1-877-687-3377, Crimestoppers at 604-669-TIPS or a local police agency.

Image 1: Marilyn Ann Moore
Image 2: Verna Littlechief
Image 3: Lenora Elizabeth Olding
Image 4: Elizabeth Chalmers

Released for:

Cate


Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

MEDIA ADVISORY - Joint Missing Women Task Force


MEDIA ADVISORY: News Briefing to be held Wednesday November 27, 2002

A news briefing by the Joint Missing Women Task Force will be held today (Wednesday) to seek public assistance in locating four missing women.

DATE: Wednesday November 27, 2002

LOCATION: Vancouver Police Department
Media Briefing/Conference Room
2120 Cambie Street

TIME: Immediately after 10:30 am VPD Deps.

Cst. Cate Galliford and Cst. Sarah Bloor spokespersons for the Joint Task Force will be available. Their statements issued at the briefing will be posted on the RCMP Media Website at www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca.


Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Sarah Bloor, Cst.
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson


RCMP Media/Communications, .
"E" Division
5255 Heather Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: (604)264-2929
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

MEDIA ADVISORY: News Briefing to be held Wednesday November 27, 2002

November 25, 2002

A news briefing by the Joint Missing Women Task Force will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) to seek public assistance in locating four missing women.

DATE: Wednesday November 27, 2002

LOCATION: Vancouver Police Department
Media Briefing/Conference Room
2120 Cambie Street

TIME: Immediately after 10:30 am VPD Deps.

Cst. Cate Galliford and Cst. Sarah Bloor spokespersons for the Joint Task Force will be available. Their statements issued at the briefing will be posted on the RCMP Media Website at www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca.


Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Sarah Bloor, Cst.
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

NEWS MEDIA RESPONSE

Missing Women Joint Task Force File: 2002E-1388
Friday, November 22, 2002

There have been a number of questions from the news media today (November 22, 2002) related to the Missing Women Joint Task Force. The following response from RCMP Constable Catherine Galliford and Vancouver Police Department Constable Sarah Bloor is in response to those questions.

==============================

The Missing Women Joint Task Force would like to clarify some misinformation that has been reported by the news media over the last 24 hours.

Members of the task force did, in fact, meet last week with the family of Marnie Frey, one of the women missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The task force has said in the past that we are obligated to share certain information with the families of the missing women, however, that obligation does not extend to the media.

Some of the news media have reported that we had similar conversations recently with other families as well. This is not the case. This incorrect information has caused many of the families to believe that our task force has been witholding information from them and this is simply not true. When we have information that directly effects only one family and where charges have not yet been laid, we will share the information only with the family immediately effected.

When we receive important information which must be shared with all of the families it is done as soon as possible, in most cases in just a matter of hours after we receive the information. We have said many times in the past that these families are our priority and this has not changed.

We want to once again express our committment to the families that when we have information to share with them it will be done in as timely a manner as possible. When we have new information to share with the news media it will be done through our regular news updates and conferences.

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE - NEWS MEDIA UPDATE (Correction)

October 24th, 2002


The Missing Women Joint Task Force has completed an extensive search of the Burns Road property in Port Coquitlam, BC. The search of the 11 acre property, which began last April, will shut down on Friday, October 25th and most of the 17 investigators from this site will join the ongoing police search of a nearby farm on Dominion Road.

Both the Burns Road and Dominion Road properties are co-owned by Robert William Pickton who, since February 2002, has been charged with fifteen counts of first degree murder in connection with the missing women investigation.

The search of the Burns Road property involved a highly specialized application of the latest forensic investigative tools. The site was divided into grids and an extensive surface search was conducted. Two excavators were utilized to move large piles of debris, including heavy aluminum roofing sheets, timber and steel beams, in order for the investigators to search through and underneath piles.

Seven buildings, including a building called "Piggy's Palace," a warehouse where large parties used to be held, were subject to a search pattern that at times called for hundreds of grid patterns of only a few inches square to be established. In order to conduct as through an examination as possible of a priority area, a makeshift house on the property had to be torn down in order for investigators to sift through the soil beneath it.

As part of the search, investigators at times had to dismantle components of a building or shed and then re-establish or replace the wiring and lighting. In other cases major cleanup was first required of an area prior to police scientists conducting their search. As an example of the attention to detail, investigators at one search spot involving a small outdoor pond first safety secured the fish in the pond, drained and searched the pond, and then released the fish back into the re-freshened water.

The nature and scope of the investigation required the search to be conducted in such an exhaustive manner. Although investigators have completed this portion of the investigation we cannot comment on the results. Family members of the missing women associated with the Joint Task Force have been notified of the situation at Burns Road.


For more information please contact:

RCMP Cst. Catherine Galliford 604.543.4861
Vancouver Police Detective Scott Driemel 604.717.2681

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Missing Women Joint Task - News Briefing 11:00 a.m.

MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE - NEWS BRIEFING


Statement presented by RCMP Cst. Catherine Galliford and Vancouver Police Detective Scott Driemel

=========================================

(Det. Scott Driemel, VPD Joint Task Force Spokesperson ): As you are aware, this morning provincial Crown prosecutors announced that four additional charges of first degree murder have been laid against Robert William Pickton of Port Coquitlam.

This brings the total number of murder charges against Mr. Pickton to 15.

Today's charges are in relation to the following missing women who were last scene at various locations throughout the Lower Mainland:

Heather Gabrielle Chinnock, Inga Monique Hall, Tanya Marlo Holyk, and Sherry Leigh Irving

Heather Chinnock was born on November 10th, 1970. She was last seen in April, 2001 and reported missing the following June. (Image 1)

Inga Hall was born on January 25, 1952. She was last seen in February, 1998, and reported missing in March of the same year. (Image 2)

Tanya Holyk was born on December 8, 1975. She was last seen in October, 1996 and reported missing in November, 1997. (Image 3)

Sherry Irving was born on March 19, 1973. She was last seen in April of 1997 and reported missing the following March. (Image 4)

The new charges against Mr. Pickton stem from the ongoing police investigation and the continuing search of farm property in Port Coquitlam. Because this case is before the courts we cannot discuss the precise nature of the investigation or comment on any exhibits that may be presented to the court.

We can say that this is a very complex investigation, that it involves more than the search of a specific site, and that police are being as methodical, careful, and thorough as possible. By way of background to you, here's how a search of an extensive physical property is typically conducted after the execution of a search warrant.

(Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson): A property is typically given an initial overall assessment by investigators. A grid pattern for searching is then designed. Police investigators and forensic specialists then very meticulously follow the search pattern designated in the grid. This is a sequential search pattern where we move slowly from one strep to the next. In a complex search great care is taken not to contaminate possible exhibits or a crime scene. That's why police don't just rush to what may appear to the average person as an obvious search point.

Generally speaking, in some very detailed searches, police and forensic scientists may spend days just on the entrance to a room or some other area. Searches actually can get right down to molecular details. This is why it can take a very long time to complete a search. It is also why literally, in some cases, no stone goes unturned.

We want to go on record as recognizing the tremendous work that the various police labs are doing in this case and the long hours being put in by specialists in various branches of forensic science. This case is now the largest serial killer investigation in Canadian history. This case is also employing some of the most advanced state-of-the-art scientific techniques available.

It is also important to clarify some misinformation regarding the missing women investigation which has been reported in the media recently. There have been reports that our investigation is somehow connected to an ongoing missing person investigation in North Vancouver. This is not the case. There is no connection between the two investigations.

(Det. Scott Driemel) : DNA is now a common tool utilized by police investigators and it is easy to understand how one high profile case involving DNA samples may be erroneously linked to other cases involving DNA.

We have received many recent questions from the media about the number of DNA exhibits related to this case that have been forwarded to police labs. We have also received many questions about the type of DNA which has been found.

It is extremely important for police investigators to maintain the integrity of any ongoing investigation, especially when there are charges before the courts in relation to that investigation. Going into detail about our exhibits may harm our case. That is a risk we will not take under any circumstances. We can tell you that our labs are using the best in science and technology. They have been handling numerous exhibits quickly and efficiently and we are receiving results in a very timely manner.

On a related matter...we have received reports that one of our missing, Richard Kellie Little, has been seen In Chilliwack. We have been unable to confirm those reports and are asking, once again, for public assistance in locating this person. Richard - or Kellie - is an aboriginal transsexual who was born on March 12, 1969. This individual is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, weighs 119 pounds, has light brown hair, brown eyes and a cleft palate.

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

MEDIA ADVISORY: JOINT MISSING WOMEN TASK FORCE NEWS BRIEFING

October 2, 2002

The news briefing will be held by the Joint Missing Women Task Force today.

DATE: Wednesday October 2, 2002

LOCATION: RCMP "E" Division H.Q.
Media Briefing/Conference Room - Main floor
5255 Heather St. Vancouver, BC

TIME: 11:00 a.m.

Cst. Cate Galliford and Det. Scott Driemel spokespersons for the Joint Missing Women Task Force will be available. Their statements issued at the briefing will be posted on the RCMP Media Website.


Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Scott Driemel, Det
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE - NEWS BRIEFING

gation which do not include the farm. The file review process is still ongoing and our task force is following up on tips as well as other investigative avenues. This has been, and will continue to be, a slow and methodical process with no definitive time frame involved.


Released for:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP Joint Missing Women Task Force Spokesperson
and
Scott Driemel, Detective
Vancouver Police Joint Missing Women Task Force Spokesperson





September 19, 2002

Statement issued by RCMP Joint Missing Women Task Force Cst. Catherine Galliford. (Vancouver Police Detective Scott Driemel is unavailable)

Today the Provincial Crown has announced that four additional counts of first degree murder have been laid against Robert William Pickton of Port Coquitlam. These additional charges have been laid in relation to the following missing women:

Jennifer Lynn Furminger
Helen Mae Hallmark
Patricia Rose Johnson
Georgina Faith Papin

Jennifer Furminger was born on October 22, 1971. She was last seen on December 27th, 1999 and reported missing on March 30th, 2000. (Photo below as Image 1)

Helen Hallmark was born on June 24th, 1966. She was last seen on June 15th, 1997 and reported missing on September 23rd, 1998. (Photo below as Image 2)

Patricia Johnson was born on December 2nd, 1976. She was last seen on March 3rd, 2001 and reported missing on May 31st, 2001. (Photo below as Image 3)

Georgina Papin was born on March 11th, 1964. She was last seen on March 2nd, 1999 and reported missing on March 14th, 2001. (Photo below as Image 4)

In addition to today's four charges, Robert Pickton is facing seven other counts of first degree murder. Those charges relate to Sereena Abotsway, Heather Bottomley, Andrea Joesbury, Jacquelene McDonell, Dianne Rock, Mona Wilson and Brenda Wolfe.

Crown Counsel has indicated that Robert Pickton's next scheduled court appearance is Wednesday, October 2nd.
It has been a couple of months since we've updated the media on our investigation and on our ongoing search of two properties in Port Coquitlam, so I would like to take this opportunity to update all of you now.

Our search at the Port Coquitlam farm property is continuing, along with the search of the Burns Road property. Right now the two search sites combined are staffed with 91 people, including police officers, anthropology and archaeology specialists and clerical and support staff.

The farm property has been divided into grids which are being thoroughly searched. We still have 52 archaeology specialists assisting us by manning four conveyor belts of sifted soil, looking for anything which may assist us in this investigation. We are unable to go into any detail regarding any of the material being seized during this search. Anything that may assist this investigation will be seized as an exhibit and presented before the courts at the appropriate time.

In July we asked the public for any information they might have that could assist us in locating nine additional missing women. To date, we have been unsuccessful in locating those women and our list of missing stands at 63. These are women who match the profile of those missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and our investigators are continuing to review outstanding missing women cases to see if those fit the same profile.

This continues to be a multi-tiered process and there are many aspects of this investigation.


Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

MEDIA ADVISORY!!!! NEWS CONFERENCE TODAY AT 9:30 AM

September 19, 2002

VANCOUVER, BC: The Joint Missing Women Task Force will be holding a news conference this morning at 9:30 am.

LOCATION: Vancouver Police Department
2120 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
Media DEPS room

TIME: 9:30 AM
DATE: Thursday September 19, 2002

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Joint Missing Women Task Force - Change of Order of Images

Please note the images of the missing women posted at 1:32 pm were posted with the incorrect corresponding names.

The names corresponding to the photos were corrected at 1:55 pm. Please see original news release posted at 1:32 pm today on the website for correct version.

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE - NEWS MEDIA UPDATE -PLEASE NOTE NEW ORDER OF IMAGES WITH NAMES

1:55 PM Please note order of images has changed. See correct order of images with corresponding names at end of release.

MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE
NEWS MEDIA UPDATE
JULY 25th, 2002 – 1300 HOURS (1 PM)
ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
"E" DIVISION HEADQUARTERS

Presented by RCMP Cst. Catherine Galliford
(Vancouver Police Detective Scott Driemel is on vacation)

The Missing Women's Joint Task Force is looking for public assistance in locating nine women. While the individuals are not yet officially on the list of women whose whereabouts are being investigated by the Task Force, their current status is very important to the case.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of the following people is asked to contact the Missing Women's Joint Task Force at telephone number 1-877-687-3377 or to contact a local police agency.

The women, all of whom lived in the Downtown Eastsid of Vancouver, are:

Yvonne Marlene Abigosis, born November 23d, 1957, last seen on January 1st, 1984 and reported missing on May 22nd, 2002. Yvonne is aboriginal and when last seen was 5 feet, six inches tall, weighed 120 pounds, had long wavy black hair, and brown eyes.

Wendy Louise Allen, born December 10th, 1945. Louise was last seen on March 30th, 1979 and reported missing on April 5th, 2002. Louise is Caucasian and when last seen was 5 feet, six inches tall, 162 pounds, and had long brown hair and blue eyes.

Dawn Lynn Cooper, born May 4th, 1964. Dawn was last seen in 1996 and reported missing on June 26th, 2002. Dawn is Caucasian and when last seen was 5 feet, six inches tall, weighed 125 pounds, had brown hair and brown eyes.

Sheryl Donahue, born July 4th, 1963. Sheryl was last seen on May 30th, 1985 and reported missing on August 31st, 1985. Sheryl is Caucasian and when last seen was 5 feet 4 inches tall, 166 pounds, had long blond hair and blue eyes.

Tanya Colleen Emery, born October 6th, 1964. Tanya was last seen on December 1st 1998 and reported missing on March 13th, 2002. Tanya is Caucasian and when last seen was 5 feet, seven inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Linda Louise Grant, born March 18th, 1953. Linda was last seen in October of 1984 and reported missing on February 2nd, 1996. Linda is Caucasian and when last seen was 5 feet, 2 inches tall, 171 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Richard "Kellie" Little, born March 12th, 1969. Richard – or Kellie – was last seen on April 23d, 1997 and reported missing on April 30th, 1997. The individual is an aboriginal transsexual. When last seen they were 5 feet, 3 inches tall, weighed 119 pounds, and had light brown hair and brown eyes. Richard, also known as Kellie, has a noticeable cleft palate.

Teresa Louise Triff, born August 17th, 1969. Teresa was last seen on April 15th, 1993 and reported missing on March 21st, 2002. Teresa is Caucasian. When last seen she was 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighed 111 pounds and had blonde curly hair and blue eyes.

Lillian Jean O'Dare, born January 8th, 1944. Lillian was last seen on September 12th, 1978 and reported missing on the same day. Lillian is Caucasian and when last seen was 5 feet, 6 inches tall, of average build, with short reddish blonde hair. Police are hoping to not only gain information about the whereabouts of Lillian but to contact any family member or relative even if they have no information about her.

We at the Missing Women Joint Task Force also have a message for the news media. From the day we executed search warrants at a farm property in Port Coquitlam until today, you've played a major role in helping police not only track down the whereabout of missing women, but also in getting people to come forward with new information.

We just wanted to thank you for that.

Since the Missing Women's Joint Task Force was created in 2001, the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP have spent – and continue to spend – a lot of time doing reviews of historic files. We've been looking at information in a new context, something that is easier in hindsight when there's more information to work with. This is an incredibly complex case with webs of connections that are sometimes obvious and sometimes not and sometimes changing and often disappearing.

But the news media have helped us do our job.

Since February of this year, the Missing Women's Joint Task Force, through its ongoing file review, has located the whereabouts of 21 women. Of those, 19 have been found alive while 2 were confirmed dead due to reasons unrelated to this file. Of those found alive, 18 have been found in various provinces across Canada while one woman was tracked down to Borneo. This means many families and friends have found closure or peace of mind just in the past 6 months.

This is the result of very detailed and time-intensive police work involving many police officers, partner agencies, and support staff. In future updates to you we are going to lay out the anatomy of just how such an investigation unfolds. Helping in that police work is the publicity that the news media generates not only nationally, but internationally.

Image 1: Dawn Lynn Cooper (3 photos)
Image 2: Linda Louise Grant (2 photos)
Image 3: Richard "Kellie" Little (2 photos)
Image 4: Teresa Louise Triff (2 photos)
Image 5: Wendy Louise Allen (photo taken in 1970's on left/ age enhancement photo on right)
Image 6: Yvonne Marlene Abigosis

*There are no photos of Sheryl Donahue and LillianJean O'Dare*

Please note: Photo image of Tanya Colleen Emery was removed on December 4, 2002 as she was located safe and sound. See update release issued on December 4, 2002.

Webmaster "E", Division
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MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE NEWS MEDIA ADVISORY

MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE NEWS MEDIA ADVISORY

Please be advised that the Missing Women Joint Task Force will be holding a news conference at 1:00 PM on THURSDAY, JULY 25th, 2002 at the RCMP Headquarters located at 5255 Heather Street, Vancouver.

NEWS CONFERENCE
THURSDAY JULY 25th, 2002
1:00 PM
RCMP HEADQUARTERS
5255 Heather Street,Vancouver, BC


The purpose of the news conference is to seek public assistance in locating 9 women who are not currently named on the list of women whose disappearance is under investigation by the Joint Task Force comprised of the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP.

It is possible the 9 women will be officially added to the list if not located. In addition, other updates will be provided to reporters. As always, details of the news conference will be available on the RCMP news media web site (including pictures) following the 1:00 PM session.

Please ensure you give yourself ample time for parking and set up, as entry into the conference room will be restricted after 1:00 pm. This is to minimize disruption during the conference.

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
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Phone: N/A
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News Media: FACTS OF INTEREST

July 16, 2002


The following information is provided to the news media and public as a regular, "on the record" information source related to the Missing Women Joint Task Force Investigation headed by the Vancouver Police Department and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. For additional information please contact RCMP Cst. Catherine Galliford at Cate.Galliford@rcmp-grc.gc.ca and/or Vancouver Police Detective Scott Driemel at Scott_Driemel@city.vancouver.bc.ca.

==============================================

TODAY'S TOPIC: Modern science plays a major role in Missing Women Joint Task Force Investigation

Viewers of popular television crime shows are well acquainted with how modern science can play a major role in solving crime. In fictional versions of high-tech crime busting, investigators schooled in the intricate and complex world of forensics, pathology, and anthropology combine talents to use microscopes and lasers instead of guns to bring criminals to justice.

At Canada's largest-ever crime scene investigation located on an urban farm property in Port Coquitlam, near Vancouver, British Columbia, a small army of police investigators, scientists, and specialists are applying the latest in technology and forensic investigative tools to try and unravel mysteries surrounding the disappearance of 54 women missing predominately from the Eastside of Vancouver over the past 13 years.

The difference between the Port Coquitlam crime scene and a TV show is that the answers at Port Coquitlam won't be found within an hour - including commercial breaks. The search now underway at the site could take well over a year. Where there is a parallel with fictional drama is the highly specialized training and remarkable expertise being brought to bear on solving the case - scientific expertise that comes from some of the best universities in the country.

Since February of 2002, Robert William Pickton, a co-owner of the Port Coquitlam farm has been charged with seven counts of first degree murder. All the charges stem from work of the Missing Women Task Force at the farm site. Most of the charges have come from not only hundreds of hours of old-fashioned police leg work - finding and interviewing individuals that are often hard to find - but from the precise and painstakingly detailed work of scientists and forensic experts.

The excavation and recovery team consists of 51 anthropologists specializing in archaeology and human osteology, representing universities from across Canada, in particular, the University of Toronto, University of Manitoba, University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta, and Simon Fraser University. Two members of the team are Canadian students studying abroad. The team members are at various stages of their academic careers ranging from upper undergraduate to PhD candidates. All have experience identifying human bone from fragments as small as a fingernail to complete elements, under different circumstances and in a variety of contexts.

Members of the team were selected for their ability to recognize bones in diverse states of decay that have been exposed to factors ranging from fire to water. The job involves careful attention to detail and intense concentration. Team members stand over four conveyor belts examining soil that has come through a sifter. The soil comes from the farm site, which has been divided into 216 search grids of 20 x 20 metres each. Since June 3rd, when students were brought on the site, 12.5 grids have been fully examined. Geologists estimate that there are 165,000 cubic metres of surface soil above ground that must be sifted and searched. This does not include the soil below the surface, whose volume of interest cannot be estimated at this point.

As the team members examine the sifted soil on the conveyor belt they search for bone and other material with potential forensic value. The Osteologists take the material they recover to a special processing area. Procedures to maintain and secure the possible DNA viability of each item are carefully followed. Each item that is seized is thoroughly examined and documented. The potential evidence is redirected to various specialists for additional analysis and documentation. For example, all bone is examined by a Forensic Anthropologist to determine its significance to the case.

Forensic Anthropologists are experts in distinguishing animal from human bone, providing a biological profile of human skeletal remains (age, sex, ancestry), and analyzing trauma to bone. There are two Forensic Anthropologists assisting the police with this investigation, Dr. Tracy Rogers from the University of Toronto and a second from the University of Alberta. Both have several years of casework experience, are members of professional forensic and anthropological associations, and have testified as experts in murder/homicide trials in their respective provincial Supreme Courts.


Released for:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Det. Scott Driemel
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

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NEWS MEDIA RESPONSE

June 25th, 2002

Missing Women Joint Task Force

There have been a number of questions from the news media today (June 25th, 2002) related to the Missing Women's Joint Task Force. The following joint response from RCMP Constable Catherine Galliford and Vancouver Police Department Detective Scott Driemel is in response to those questions:

=======================

What we can say is that the Missing Women's Joint Task Force is not issuing any new statements at this time related to the investigation or search. From the beginning the Missing Women's Joint Task Force has said that any conversations we might have with family members are private ones. That situation has not changed.

This is an ongoing investigation that involves many continuing facets. What we have is a very complex, ongoing search and investigation that also involves seven charges of murder now before the courts. We continue to pursue all avenues necessary and to utilize all the investigative skills possible.

When we have concrete information and facts to convey to the media and public we will do so officially through our regular new updates and conferences.

Released by:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Det. Scott Driemel
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

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Joint Missing Women Task Force - News Briefing @ 11:00 a.m.

June 6th, 2002

Statement issued to by the Joint Task Force at 11:00 a.m.

(Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson) Thank you for coming.

We apologize to those of you who expected to have this briefing near the search site. We indicated on Tuesday that such a venue would likely be the case, but of course, things change. Logistically this location has turned out to be the best.

You still have an opportunity to be able to view the soil sifting equipment that is starting up today. The conveyor belt in particular is close to the fenced area located near the local, adjacent golf course. The view...on property outside the fence...and which is not subject to our search warrant...gives reporters a good vantage point.

We are not in a position to guide your news gathering beyond the above suggestion. Please remember that we are dealing with a crime scene. Investigators are actively executing a search warrant. You know from experience that police in Canada cannot...in accordance with privacy statutes...invite the news media along when executing a search warrant.

A good example is when we do drug busts...like when we take down a marijuana grow operation. Inviting the media along would make great television but also a great nightmare for prosecutors requiring exhibits that are still usable in a court of law.As you know, news images can result in crime exhibits being excluded from court evidence.

(Det. Scott Driemel) We, as police, are walking a very delicate and dangerous tightrope of information. There are lots of things the news media WANT to know. There are things that family members NEED to know. And there is information the general public SHOULD know.
Want to know...need to know...and should know...are very different categories of information. The fact is...there are now seven murder charges connected to this ongoing investigation and search for missing women. The fact is...what some people WANT to know about this case is the kind of information...that if made public...could jeopardize a fair trial...could jeopardize a prosecution.

We...as police...don't think that should happen. We don't believe that needs to happen. And we have a legal responsibility – as part of the criminal justice system – to not let it happen.

We are now going to provide you with technical information about the kind of equipment that is on site at the crime scene...and information about the scientists brought onto the site.

(Cst. Cate Galliford) One thing we are NOT going to comment on allegations raised by the news media about potential exhibits seized during the course of this investigation.

There's increasing public commentary about the impact of sensational reporting on the ability of any accused to have a fair trial...and there's even growing public debate about the basic motivation for such reporting. We will leave that debate outside this room.

Now here is what is happening at the farm site.
A detailed forensic-archeological search of the 14-acre farm property is now underway. On site, and actively working, are about 26 scientific experts with formal training in Human Osteology, a sub-speciality of archeology. What these experts are doing is carefully examining soil samples being carried on a conveyor belt. The soil, from the search site, is first screened for larger material. What these osteology experts are trained to do is differentiate between small rocks and other soil material, and foreign matter that might be of interest to investigators.

The osteology experts are mostly very serious students and are part of a pool of about 50 upper-level students and graduates of the specialized field who have been selected to work at the site. The experts have been selected from universities from across Canada. The number of osteology specialists on site may grow as the need occurs.

( Det. Scott Driemel) This is a crime scene. Prior to being selected, the Osteology Team members had to sign a non-disclosure statement, have a police security background check, and were apprised that any unauthorized release of information could constitute a breach of law.

Also on site is a variety of heavy equipment that is used for soil excavation and sorting. For example, there is a soil screener and two 50-foot flat conveyor belts. In addition there is a rubber tire loader, an excavator, and two dump trucks being used in the search. Like with everyone who steps foot on the site, all personnel involved in the heavy equipment contracts have been required to pass a police security check.
In addition to all that...we still have a strong compliment of police investigators on the site who are using modern forensic science to carry out their search.

This is a very slow, long, tedious process. Literally, no stone is left unturned. Everything that is looked at must be carefully documented, recorded, and catalogued. This is a unique and huge project and it will go on in a careful and deliberate manner for a long time yet to come.

(Cst. Cate Galliford) In closing we want to remind you of our news media policy. The information you receive on this case is provided through our joint briefings and on our news media web site. That's where you can get the facts. There are NO news media interviews granted outside of those two opportunities. However we will take your questions and post what answers we can – on our web site. This is the process we believe is fair to all journalists.

Released for:

Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Det. Scott Driemel, VPD Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
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MEDIA ADVISORY: News Briefing to be held Thursday June 6, 2002

June 6, 2002

A news briefing by the Missing Women Joint Task Force will be held tomorrow to provide information about what is happening on the Port Coquitlam search site.

DATE: Thursday June 6, 2002

LOCATION: Vancouver Police Department
Media Briefing/Conference Room
2120 Cambie Street

TIME: 11:00 am

Cst. Cate Galliford and Det. Scott Driemel spokespersons for the Joint Task Force will be available. Their statements issued at the briefing will be posted on the RCMP Media Website at www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca.

Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Scott Driemel, Det
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson
Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
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Statement Issued by the Missing Women Joint Task Force

June 4th, 2002

The recent expansion of the search of farmland related to the Missing Women Task Force investigation has prompted significant news media interest. On Wednesday the Task Force will provide a time and place for a media technical briefing related to the current search. The technical briefing - likely to take place on Thursday at the Port Coquitlam farm search site - will be followed with an opportunity for news media to photograph or film the workings of some of the major soil sifting equipment at the site. Please note that the opportunity to shoot pictures will take place OUTSIDE of the gated search site in order to protect the investigation and search process.

The Missing Women Joint Task Force would like to issue a plea to reporters from family members. We have received complaints from family members who say some news media stories have put them on an emotional roller coaster. What they are simply asking for is an end to sensational speculation and to have time to deal with what is already a very traumatic time in their lives.

The message we have conveyed to family members and to the public is that the only information that can be considered totally accurate is that which is officially released by the Joint Task Force. It is our continuing objective not to release information that would jeopardize the accused rights to a fair trial.

It is understandable that this high-profile investigation and search creates competitive pressures for the news media. However on behalf of the families affected by this horrible tragedy, we and the victims services staff ask news reporters to please recognize the deep emotional impact and trauma that can be caused by their questions to family members.

There is information and there is sensation. One serves to inform and educate and the other simply serves to titillate entertain. This investigation, this search, and the ensuing court case will challenge many to appreciate the difference.

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Excavation to begin this week at Port Coquitlam farm property

June 3, 2002

<< Joint Statement posted by Det. Scott Driemel (Vancouver Police Dept.) and Cst. Catherine Galliford (RCMP) >>

A detailed forensic-archeological search of a 14-acre farm property will begin this week, possibly Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning (June 5th or 6th). The search involves initial use of 26 scientific experts with formal training in Human Osteology, a sub-speciality of archeology. The 26 experts are part of a pool of about 50 upper-level students and graduates of the specialized field who have been selected to work at the site. The experts have been selected from universities from across Canada. The number of osteology specialists being used may grow as the need occurs.

On Monday, June 3d, the Osteology Team will go through a basic orientation including an explanation of pay and benefits, the issuance of picture identification, reiteration of the absolute need for confidentiality, plus a physical tour of the work site. Prior to being selected, the Osteology Team members had to sign a non-disclosure statement, have a police security background check, and were apprised that any unauthorized release of information could constitute a breach of law.

Over the next few days heavy equipment will also be brought on site that will serve as the source of work for the ostelogy specialists. As previously stated, a soil screener is being brought on site as well as two 50-foot flat conveyor belts. In addition there are a rubber tire loader, an excavator, and two tandum dump trucks being used in the search. All personnel involved in the heavy equipment contracts have been required to pass an RCMP Security check.

We understand that this new stage in our search can create many questions from the media wanting details. Please understand that we are constrained by the circumstances of this unusual situation. What we have is both an ongoing investigation underway plus charges that have been laid against an individual. Normally, once charges are laid and the court process is underway, it is not appropriate for police officers to comment on the case.

For this reason we cannot and will not discuss specifics of this case, especially if those comments may relate to information being presented to court.

More information on this search will be provided as details warrant.


Released by:

Det. Scott Driemel, VPD Joint Task Force Spokesperson
Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
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Missing Women Joint Task Force - News Briefing Advisory

May 22, 2002

A news briefing by the Missing Women Joint Task Force will be held today:

DATE: Wednesday May 22, 2002
LOCATION: RCMP "E" Division H.Q.
Media Briefing/Conference Room - Main floor
5255 Heather St. Vancouver, BC
TIME: 1:00 pm

Cst. Cate Galliford and Det. Scott Driemel spokespersons for the Joint Task Force will be available. Their statements issued at the briefing will be posted on the RCMP Media Website at
www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca.

Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Scott Driemel, Det
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Missing Women Joint Task Force - News Briefing 1:00 pm

May 22, 2002

Statements issued by Missing Women Joint Task Force news Briefing at 1:00 pm:

(Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson) Thank for you coming. This morning provincial Crown prosecutors announced that a seventh charge of first degree murder has been laid against Robert William Pickton, age 52, of Port Coquitlam. The most current charge relates to the death of Brenda Wolfe who was born on October 20th 1968 and was last seen on February 1st, 1999. Ms. Wolfe was reported missing on April 25th, 2000. (Photo attached below as Image 1)

Since February, Mr. Picton has been charged with first degree murder involving the deaths of Heather Bottomly, Jacqueline MaDonell, Dianne Rock, Mona Wilson, Sereena Abotsway, and Angela Joesbury.

Crown prosecutors have indicated that Mr. Pickton will appear in provincial court tomorrow morning, Thursday, May 23d. The family of Ms. Wolfe has been notified of her death. In addition, other family members of missing and deceased women connected to the case have been notified by police.

In keeping with all other charges that have been brought before the court with respect to this investigation, the Missing Women Joint Task Force is not going to divulge any specific details regarding this latest charge. We can say that the charge relates to the current search site on Dominion Avenue. As you know, all matters related to an alleged crime only become evidence as such when accepted by a court of law.

We are not going to discuss where the immediate family of Ms. Wolfe currently resides. However those family members have asked us to convey this message to you. The family of Ms. Wolfe is asking news reporters to please respect their privacy during this intensely personal and emotional time.

We are also continuing to maintain our close contact with as many family members of missing women as possible, providing them what details we can when we can.

(Det. Scott Driemel, VPD Joint Task Force Spokesperson) There is nothing more we as police officers can say about the charges against Mr. Pickton. What we can do now is answer some other questions that have come to us from reporters over the past few days.

We can confirm that the Missing Women Joint Task is now finalizing the hiring process related to the approximately 50 specialists in the science of human osteology, a branch of archeology. We have more than enough excellent candidates selected from hundreds of applications from across Canada and elsewhere.

The individuals who will be hired for a period ranging from a few months to a year come from the academic and science community in Canada. They will start work around the first week of June.

We will not go into the details of what these contracted scientists will be doing. We will say that each person hired to assist in processing materials at the search site have signed a confidentiality agreement and have gone through a criminal record and background check. The individuals have also been told – in very clear terms – that public disclosure about their work could result in not only them getting fired but facing charges under relevant legislation. This is in keeping with our ongoing commitment to maintaining the integrity of this investigation and our recognition of a person's fundamental presumption of innocence on all matters not yet heard in court.

(Cst. Cate Galliford) In addition, the Joint Task Force has issued tender calls for a variety of excavating and screening equipment to assist in the search. Those contract proposals are now being assessed and a decision will be made soon. Again, we are not going into detail about each piece of equipment on site or how it is being used. We will repeat that contractors of equipment must pass police security checks and are liable to criminal prosecution should they release confidential information related to this case.

We can report that search activity at the Burns Road site in Port Coquitlam is still in the assessment stage. Once we know more precise details about the extent of the search we will let you know.

Finally, questions have been asked if the Missing Women Joint Task Force is looking at other suspects. We have said from the beginning and will say again that this is a incredibly complex case with many possible interconnections. Seven murder charges have been laid to date against one individual.

There is still much to investigate and a very long search period ahead of us. We are very well coordinated in our efforts, we are using the best of science and technology, and we will not waver from our continuing and careful dedication to solving the mystery of the missing women.

We will now take just a few questions. Please remember that a court process in underway, many charges have been laid, and our ability to answer questions is now significantly narrowed.

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Missing Women Joint Task Force - Q & A Update

May 6, 2002

NEWS MEDIA UPDATE

The following questions have arisen from the news media over the past week. As is the ongoing practice of the Missing Women Joint Task Force, answers are being provided to news agencies through the Missing Woman Joint Task Force web site:

The following answers are provided by Missing Women Joint Task Force spokespeople Detective Scott Driemel, Vancouver Police Department and Constable Cate Galliford, RCMP.

Q. Will police disclose details of which police department knew what and when in relation the missing women case?

A. The Missing Women Joint Task Force is committed to providing full public disclosure of key events and time lines to the appropriate and relevant public bodies that may be examining this case. That sort of detail obviously cannot be disclosed today while an investigation is underway, while court action is being prepared in relation to the six murder charges against Robert William Pickton, and while a civil suit is being launched against police.

Q. When did police departments first share information amongst departments about the missing women case and in particular, any information about the Port Coquitlam farm site?

A. What we can say in general is that police have continually shared information on this very complicated case. We can't go into details because there is an investigation underway, there are criminal charges before the court, and there is a civil court action being launched. But let us make this very clear. Information that was considered important and reliable within the context of the day was dealt with quickly, with the necessary priority, and was shared with those who needed to know.

At some point in time there may well be an official forum wherein the answers to this question can be dealt with in an open and direct way. We have no problem with that. In fact, both the Vancouver Police Department and RCMP are fully committed to being part of any such process.

Q. Some people have come forward with claims alleging that police didn't listen to them. Some of these claims and allegations are quite detailed. How do you react to these claims?

A. Police are in a real tough situation when people make claims to the news media. Even to prove an allegation wrong means police have to start discussing matters of facts and evidence. But the proper and only forum for that is in court. We can only ask that the public continue with their trust in us, and to wait until the proper and legitimate forum takes place where all the facts will be weighed.

Q. Reporters have seen police on the search site moving long pieces of pipe around. What is going on?

A. On an ongoing basis you will see a variety of activity on the two search sites that really relate to investigators getting settled into what is going to be a very long search. It will not be unusual to see vehicles and various machinery come and go and being utilized, various tents going up and down, and other activity you can associate with a large site. It is not practical for us to question investigators and then provide answers to reporters on every activity noticed on site. This would include required materials that are necessary in the daily examination of the sites. Please appreciate that investigators are extremely busy and we are trying to give them as much freedom as possible to do their job.

Q. Have you found any more DNA or human remains on the search site and have you determined the gender of the remains you have found?

A. Again it is very important to be very clear that police cannot, because of our role in the criminal justice system, discuss any information that might exist or may be destined for court.


Released by:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Det. Scott Driemel
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Joint Missing Women Task Force - News Briefing @ 12:00 pm

ta, and Abbotsford.

From the Royal Canadian Mounted Police perspective, the Missing Women case involves the national police force doing what it is designed to do. It is designed to quickly adjust to changing circumstances, taking advantage of a built-in ability to redeploy resources as needed while ensuring the continued safety of communities.

We have also been asked to comment on a recent decision by some family members to hire independent legal counsel. The Joint Task Force can only say that we respect the right of families to do what they feel is important to them.

We will continue to work with...and share with families...that information we can responsibly release...while meeting our legal obligations.

Joint Missing Women Task Force - News Briefing
Statement issued:

(Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson) This morning...at about 8 am...the Missing Women Joint Task Force executed a warrant allowing police to search a property located on Burns Road in Port Coquitlam. This search will continue for a number of weeks and is related to the ongoing investigation by the Joint Task Force.

As you know, the Joint Task Force has for several weeks been conducting a search on a nearby property located on Dominion Avenue in Port Coquitlam.

Let us be clear about what we can and cannot tell you.
We cannot tell you the wording of the search warrant and what we are searching for. That is because the search warrant has been sealed by the court, meaning all information contained in it is not available for public information.

We, as police officers, cannot tell you who owns the property we are searching. To you and the public, this may appear like avoiding the obvious. But you can say things we cannot say. As part of the criminal justice system police must respect the right to fair process, and the presumed innocence of people until a court deems otherwise.

(Det. Scott Driemel, VPD Joint Task Force Spokesperson) While we cannot tell you what wording is in the search warrant..we can say in general that the property in question is about 11 acres in size. If you stood on the road adjacent to the property you would see a number of vehicles including a large bus, about six outbuildings, and a partially constructed home.

Currently we have seven investigators on the property conducting the search. However this number will fluctuate according to need.

Police have erected a steel fence around the property to protect the integrity of the search and there will be 24-hour security associated with the fence and property. No one but police and associated personnel are being allowed on the property.

Over the past week we have had a number of questions related to police resources and how that may be affecting other investigations. First, related to the two searches now underway, we have the resources and expertise required to do a thorough and detailed search.

When and if we require additional expertise or equipment, those resources are quickly made available. Right now there are still about 80 investigators involved with searching, analysing, categorizing, and following up on tips associated with the search warrant executed in February.

We have been asked what is happening to other cases and investigations as this very detailed search unfolds. Some cases are being placed on a lower priority, other cases are proceeding as before, and new cases are allocated the priority required when they come in.

(Cst. Cate Galliford) Please remember that this is a very coordinated effort involving the RCMP, the Vancouver Police Department plus other Lower Mainland police departments including expertise from New Westminster, Del


Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
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Fax: (604)264-3200
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MEDIA ADVISORY - Weekly Joint Missing Women News Briefing

April 17, 2002

The weekly news briefings by the Missing Women Joint Task Force will occur today:

DATE: Wednesday April 17, 2002

LOCATION: RCMP "E" Division H.Q.
Media Briefing/Conference Room - Main floor
5255 Heather St. Vancouver, BC

TIME: 12:00 pm


Cst. Cate Galliford and Det. Scott Driemel spokespersons for the Joint Task Force will be available. Their statements issued at the briefing will be posted on the RCMP Media Website at www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca. French language services will be provided at the briefing.


Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson
Scott Driemel, Det
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

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Joint Missing Women Task Force - News Briefing 11:00 am

at has to be done.

In anticipation of your questions, please understand that it would be inappropriate, bordering on irresponsible, to speculate if or when any additional charges could be laid against any individual or individuals with respect to the Missing Women Case.

Besides our focus on the farm property, the Missing Women Joint Task Force is sifting through hundreds of public tips received since February. Many of those tips are valuable and are helping in the investigation. However as can be expected, there are also tips that prove to be unsubstantiated, misleading, or generally off the mark. However each tip is examined, correlated with existing information, and treated seriously until proven otherwise.

(Det. Scott Driemel) Investigators from the Missing Women Joint Task Force are also continuing with a close look at hundreds of other potential suspects and separate pieces of information.

This investigation is not about collecting information that simply and quickly locks together like a child=s building set. This investigation is about slowly and carefully unravelling a very tangled web of knotted connections, loose affiliations, and conflicting paths. What we learn one day can significantly change the context of what we knew the week before or last year. But rest assured that the unravelling has indeed started.

We would also like to address some of the questions that we have received from reporters over the past few days with respect to this investigation:

(Cst. Cate Galliford) A question was raised about us bringing in specialized equipment that has been used in the search at the World Trade Centre site. No such decision has been made. We will use whatever resources are required when they are needed and we will let you know when that happens.

A question was raised about how many tips we have received so far. The Missing Women Joint Task Force has received over a thousand tips, many of them attributable to coverage by local and regional news media. We do not break down which news media is responsible for what tips.

There was a question related to how we feel about some family members considering having their own legal counsel look into the handling of this case. All we can say is that we respect their right to do whatever they feel is necessary. We also understand that these are very emotional times for many, very confusing times, and a time when there are still many questions.

From the begining, the Missing Women Joint Task Force has worked closely with families and respected their need for information, for comfort, and for us to have an open door with regard to their thoughts and ideas. We want to stress that our door remains open to all families, and we remain committed to work closely with them regardless of what decision they may make.

(Det. Scott Driemel) We have received several questions from reporters about the backgrounds of the missing women, where they are from, and other personal data. Please understand that in many cases it is difficult to say precisely where a missing woman is recently from. We know where they were born and where they were raised as children. But as adults, the women frequently moved from one location to another over the past few years.

Released by:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Det. Scott Driemel
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Joint Missing Women Task Force
News Briefing 11:00 am
Vancouver Police Dept. Headquarters


(Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson) Thank for you coming. The Missing Women Joint Task Force is announcing that a sixth charge of first degree murder has been laid against William Robert Pickton, age 52, of Port Coquitlam. The most current charge relates to the death of Andrea Joesbury, (who also goes by Angela) age 22. Ms. Josebury was reported missing on June 8th of 2001. ( Photo below as Image 1)

Since February, Mr. Picton has been charged with first degree murder involving the deaths of Heather Bottomly, who was 24 years of age, Jacqueline Macdonnell, age 25, Dianne Rock, age 33, Mona Wilson, age 26, and Sereena Abotsway, who was 29 years old when she was reported missing.

Yesterday there was a family memorial for Mona Wilson. We would like to extend our sympathies to the family.

Mr. Pickton appeared in provincial court this morning to face the charge related to Ms. Josesbury. The family of Ms. Josesbury was contacted on Monday by the Missing Women Joint Task Force who notified them of her death. In addition, the Joint Task Force began notifying all other family members of missing women early this morning.

In keeping with all other charges that have been brought before the court with respect to this investigation, the Missing Women Joint Task Force is not going to divulge any specific details regarding this latest indictment.

(Det. Scott Driemel, VPD Joint Task Force Spokesperson) The Missing Women Joint Task Force is today confirming that it has recovered human remains on the Port Coquitlam farm property during its ongoing examination of this site. These remains are the subject of forensic autopsy and laboratory testing and analysis.

The most recent recovery was made on Friday April 5th and following further investigation by police, an information package was forwarded to Crown Prosecutors who have today initiated a charge of first degree murder in relation to the death of Angela Joesbury.

We understand your desire for specific details about the remains discovered at the farm site. But we also ask you to respect the needs of immediate family members. We ask to consider their need for dignity and their need for privacy. We ask you to weigh sensation against sensitivity B and perhaps responsibility.

We also ask you to consider the requirements of police investigators to uphold the privilege and jurisdiction of the court, and for the Task Force=s commitment to maintaining the integrity of this investigation.

For these reasons, we will not divulge any specific details about the nature or condition of the remains discovered.

(Cst. Cate Galliford) The search of the farm property continues in meticulous detail and will continue for at least the next year. The Missing Women Joint Task Force is confident that we have the resources and expertise required at this point to do the job th


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REMINDER ADVISORY: WEEKLY MEDIA BRIEFING TUESDAY APRIL 9

WEEKLY MEDIA BRIEFING TUESDAY APRIL 9

Vancouver, BC - The weekly media briefing for the Missing Women Task Force is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday April 9th at 11:00 am after the
Vancouver Police morning deps.

Date: Tuesday April 9, 2002
Time: 11:00 am
Place: Vancouver Police Department (media room)
2120 Cambie St., Vancouver, BC

Please attend 10 minutes prior to 11:00 am for set up. No access after 11:00 am as the door will be shut to minimize noise disruption.

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WEEKLY MEDIA BRIEFING TUESDAY APRIL 9

ADVISORY


MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE

April 8,2002 File #2001-E1388


Vancouver, BC - The weekly media briefing for the Missing Women Task Force is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday April 9th at 11:00 am after the Vancouver Police morning deps.

Date: Tuesday April 9, 2002
Time: 11:00 am
Place: Vancouver Police Department (media room)
2120 Cambie St., Vancouver, BC


Please attend 10 minutes prior to 11:00 am for set up. No access after 11:00 am as the door will be shut to minimize noise disruption.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Joint Task Force News Briefing

April 2, 2002

A news briefings by the Missing Women Joint Task Force will occur today.

DATE: Tuesday April 2, 2002

LOCATION: RCMP "E" Division H.Q.
Media Briefing/Conference Room
Main floor

TIME: 2:00 P.M.

Cst. Cate Galliford and Det. Scott Driemel spokespersons for the Joint Task Force will be available. Their statements issued at the briefing will be posted on the RCMP Media Website at
www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca.


Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson
Scott Driemel, Det.
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
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Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Joint Missing Women Task Force - News Briefing 2:00 pm

April 2, 2002

Statements issued by Joint Task Force Spokesperson at News Briefing:

(Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson) Thank you for coming.

From the beginning we have said that we will advise you as quickly as possible regarding new developments in the Missing Women case.

Today the Missing Women Joint Task Force is announcing that three additional charges of first degree murder were laid this morning against Robert William Pickton of Port Coquitlam. These additional three charges of murder follow the two charges of first degree murder laid against Mr. Pickton in February.

The current charges against Mr. Pickton are the result of the continuing police search of a farm property located in Port Coquitlam. As you know, that intense search is utilizing the best in scientific evidence-gathering and forensic science. The search involves members of the Missing Women Joint Task Force, a number of RCMP detachments, and other municipal police departments throughout the Lower Mainland.

(Det. Scott Driemel, VPD Joint Task Force Spokesperson) The new charges against Mr. Pickton involve the following missing women.

They are Heather Kathleen Bottomly, age 25, last seen on April 17th of 2001 and reported missing the same day; Jacqueline Macdonnell, age 26, last seen on January 16th of 1999 and reported missing on February 22nd, 1999; and Dianne Rosemary Rock, age 34, last seen on November 23d of 2001 and reported missing November 30, 2001. * Images posted below *

The families of the three women were notified prior to the news media being notified.

From the beginning we have said that this investigation will succeed through the partnership of family, friends, police, the community, and the news media. The charges laid today are a result of this web of cooperation.

(Cst. Cate Galliford) From the beginning we have also said that this investigation and search of the farm property will be a long and careful process. The work of the Missing Women Joint Task Force is also not restricted to any one person or place. There are literally hundreds of leads and hundreds of suspects.

Although police, and understandably the families of the women, are please with the laying of these additional charges...we want to caution the public that there is still a long process ahead. The matter must go before the court, the investigation must continue, and most importantly, the cooperation of all stakeholders must go on.

Thank you

Image 1: Heather Kathleen Bottomly
Image 2: Jacqueline Macdonnell
Image 3: Dianne Rosemary Rock

Released by:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Det. Scott Driemel
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

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PHOTOS OF NEWLY ADDED MISSING WOMEN RE-POSTED

March 28, 2002

Please be advised the images of the newly added missing women posted to our website today has caused some difficulties for some.

We apologize for these technical difficulties and hope this format will be of assistance.

Image 2 : Yvonne Boen
Image 3 : Tiffany Drew
Image 4 : Maria Laliberte
Image 5 : Ruby Hardy

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MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE NEWS MEDIA UPDATE - 1:00 PM

MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE
NEWS MEDIA UPDATE - THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2002

(Cst. Cate Galliford) Today's news media update brings you important new information and will answer some media questions which have come up this week.

This is a very fluid investigation and the number of investigators working on this file will change...when and how many investigators may be added to this case has not been determined. When we make significant changes to the team size or structure, we will let families know and then you.

The fact is...there is no definitive time frame attached to the search now being conducted. The search will continue as long as it is deemed necessary to the case. Right now we can say we expect to be on the farm search for at least one year.

In its ongoing review, the Missing Women's Joint Task Force has found descriptions of five additional women who match the profile of the existing 50 missing women. We are adding them to the list but need the public's assistance in our attempts to locate the women.

(Det. Scott Driemel) The families of the additional five women were advised that their loved ones may be added to the existing list of missing women. The families of the other missing women were contacted by investigators as well with this information.

Two of the five women are historical missing cases and have come to our attention as a result of our ongoing file review. The other three women were reported missing to police as a result of the recent media coverage surrounding the missing women investigation.

The five women are:

(Cst. Cate Galliford) The second woman is Yvonne Marie BOEN, age 34, born on November 30, 1967. Ms. Boen was last seen on March 16, 2001 and reported missing to Surrey RCMP on March 21st, 2001. She is described as being 5 feet, 10 inches tall, having blonde hair and blue eyes, and being Caucasian. Ms. Boen has also used the last name of 'ENGLAND.' (Her photo is Image 5)

The third woman is Tiffany Louise DREW, age 27, and born on January 13, 1975. Ms. Drew was last seen on December 31, 1999. She was reported missing to Vancouver police on February 8th, 2002. Ms. Drew is described as being 4 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 95 pounds, and having long, wavy blonde hair and blue eyes. She is Caucasian. (Her photo is Image 2)

(Det. Scott Driemel) The fourth woman is Maria Laura LALIBERTE, age 52, born November 7th, 1949. She was last seen on January 1st, 1997 and reported missing to Vancouver police on March 8th, 2002. Ms. Laliberte is described as being 5 feet 6 inches tall, has brown hair, brown eyes and is Native Indian. She often uses the alias Kim KELLER. (Her photo is Image 3)

The fifth woman is Ruby Anne HARDY, age 37, born on March 23, 1965. Ms. Hardy was last seen in 1998 and was reported missing to Vancouver police yesterday, March 27th, 2002. She is described as being 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighing 131 pounds, having brown hair and eyes and being Native Indian. She often uses the name 'Ruby GALLOWAY'. (Her photo is Image 4)


(Cst. Cate Galliford) All five of these women match the profile of the missing women we are looking for. We are asking anyone with information about these women to contact the Missing Women Tip Line which is 1-877-687-3377.

(Det. Scott Driemel) We can say that as a direct result of the recent media coverage surrounding the missing women investigation, we have been contacted by eight women who were reported missing in the past and who were a part of our file review - which is different from the 50 women who are definitely missing. These eight women contacted the tip line to assure investigators that they are safe.

Thank you, and now we can take a few questions...

Released by:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP Spokesperson for the Missing Women Joint Task Force

Scott Driemel, Detective
Vancouver Police Department Spokesperson for the Missing Women Joint Task Force


Image: Anne Wolsey (removed once found alive & well April 2002)

Image 1: Tiffany Drew
Image 2: Maria Laliberte
Image 3: Ruby Hardy
Image 4: Yvonne Boen

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Missing Women Joint Task Force Weekly Media Briefing scheduled for Thursday March 28th

March 27, 2002
The weekly news briefings by the Missing Women Joint Task Force will occur tomorrow.

DATE: Thursday March 28, 2002

LOCATION: Vancouver Police Department
2120 Cambie St., Vancouver
Media Deps room

TIME: 1:00 P.M.

Cst. Cate Galliford and Det. Scott Driemel spokespersons for the Joint Task Force will be available. Their statements issued at the briefing will be posted on the RCMP Media Website at www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca


Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Scott Driemel, Det.
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson


Webmaster "E", Division
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Joint Missing Women Task Force - News Briefing 2:00 pm

March 20, 2002

(Det. Scott Driemel, Vancouver Police Joint Task Force Spokesperson) We have a couple of general areas we wish to update you on today.

The investigation into the missing women identified by the Joint Task Force is continuing to make headway. We said from the very beginning that the current search of a farm property will be a slow, careful, scientific process.

That inch by inch search has so far resulted in two murder charges being laid. We can say today that the intensity of the search continues. And we can say the Joint Task Force is increasingly encouraged by the results of the many hours spent at the farm by very experienced investigators.

Please remember that although a great deal of effort is being dedicated to the farm site, the investigation of other leads continues. Besides the review of the existing missing women file by the Joint Task Force, there has ALWAYS been an ongoing and very active criminal investigation by police into new leads and tips.

With each new suspect there is a window of opportunity for very intensive police work. However if that work does not produce results then resources are shifted to a higher priority suspect. This does not mean that we lose interest in a suspect that is giving us very little to go on. They remain a suspect and the high attention paid to them may return. But obviously it is impossible to apply the same level of very high commitment to every suspect...we have to strive for results.

This continuing investigation IS producing results. Those results will be shared with you and the public in the very near future.

The Joint Task Force has resisted commenting about statements from a few people...who say police should have done more...earlier.

We have resisted comment until today.

Let us share with you what police face.

(Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson) Police looked at – and are still looking at – hundreds of potential leads and suspects. The very sad truth is that horrible things are happening everyday to women who work the streets. Such events demand police resources.

The Joint Task Force and police investigators must sift through continuing rumours, innuendo, unsubstantiated claims, and people who make strong statements and then later change their mind.

There are very gruesome stories out there. And the sad fact is, these are not unique stories. Not by a long shot. Police have made and continue to make decisions in this case. These decisions must be placed in the context of other suspects and information that police have at the time.

Sometimes there are anywhere from 70 to over 200 suspects with a history and a type of behaviour that deserves very, very close scrutiny.

This investigation into missing women is forcing light onto a part of our society that traditionally resides in the very dark shadows. Most people in society don't give a second thought about what's really happening on the streets of our cities. And some people don't want to think about it. This investigation is uncovering very new territory for many in the public...and the news media.

The way most people understand something new is by comparing it to past experiences and existing knowledge. But the world this investigation is publicly exposing...is nothing like most people have even dreamed about...let alone have an accurate basis for comparison.

* Please note an advisory will be issued to alert you to the next briefing date and time. *

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Missing Women Joint Task Force Media Briefing set for Wednesday March 20th

March 19, 2002

The weekly news briefings by the Missing Women Joint Task Force will occur tomorrow.

DATE: Wednesday March 20, 2002

LOCATION: RCMP "E" Division H.Q.
Media Briefing/Conference Room - Main floor

TIME: 2:00 P.M.

Cst. Cate Galliford and Det. Scott Driemel spokespersons for the Joint Task Force will be available. Their statemetns issued at the briefing will be posted on the RCMP Media WEbsite at www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca



Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Scott Driemel, Det.
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson


Webmaster "E", Division
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Joint Missing Women Task Force - News Briefing 11:00 a.m.

Monday March 11, 2002
(Vancouver Police Department headquarters)


March 11, 2002

(Det. Scott Driemel, VPD Joint Task Force Spokesperson) We want to tell you what we can about a meeting on Sunday between the Missing Women Joint Task Force and about 70 relatives of the missing women.

Family members came from various parts of British Columbia as well as Washington State.
On hand were 5 specialists from victim services, 2 grief counsellors, 2 specialists from the police victim services section and about 40 Joint Task Force investigators.

The meeting started with an hour-long overview of the investigation. Family members were provided with the latest information which can be provided without jeopardizing the case. The Joint Task Force explained how the investigation is organized, how it is managed, and who is responsible for major components of the investigation.

Lead investigators with the Joint Task Force also answered a number of questions from relatives of the missing women. Out of respect for the family members and their privacy, we are not going to go into details of the questions or the answers provided.

(Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson) We can say in general, that people wanted to know about the fate of their loved ones. Was there anything new...anything promising...how could they help. There were also some questions about the history of this investigation.

The Joint Task Force investigators outlined just how complicated this case has been. Family members were told about the continual challenges of sorting through thousands of bits of information that at times has been misleading, insufficient, contradictory and also very useful.

Year by year, month by month, and week by week investigators have continued to collect, sort, analyse, set aside or keep, and ultimately focus hard on information that has brought us to where we are today.

(Det. Scott Driemel) Over a period of about three hours family members had an opportunity to view pictures of items collected by investigators. The items mostly related to personal articles of clothing, jewellery, and other personal affects. Family members were taken individually into a room to view the items and to meet privately with investigators.

We will not go into detail about what information family members provided.

(Cst. Cate Galliford) We can say that the meeting with relatives was very successful on several fronts. To the families of missing women this situation involves deep emotion, uncertainty, and incredible public scrutiny. During such an intense time communications, cooperation, and connecting with others is vital.
Sunday was far more than a time of sharing information with families. It was a time of sharing emotions as well, of understanding how there can be mutual cooperation.

We will have more group conversations with families in the future. What was re-enforced on Sunday was the fact that you can never leave an event with the same level of knowledge you had when you went in.

Thank-you.

* Please note the next news briefing availability will be Wednesday March 20th - location and time to be determined.

Released by:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

and

Det. Scott Driemel
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

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Joint Missing Women Task Force 1:30 pm News Briefing

March 10, 2002

JOINT MISSING WOMEN TASK FORCE: 1:30 p.m. Briefing


Det. Scott Driemel, VPD Joint Task Force Spokesperson: We have asked families of the missing women to join police investigators today for two reasons. Joint Task Force investigators will share what information they can with the families in relation to the investigation and search.

Family members have also been asked to provide what information they can today to assist in the investigation. The kind of information we have asked family to think about includes items of jewellery, clothing, and personal items associated with the missing women.

Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson: Approximately 80 family members have gathered here today from around BC. This day will be spent sharing information amongst families and police. From the very start...relatives of the missing women have played an important role in helping police put together a jigsaw puzzle containing thousands of pieces. A jigsaw puzzle whose big picture changes as more pieces are assembled.

We cannot give you specific details of what police and family will talk about today. We will not take any chances regarding an investigation that is complex, that is now before the courts, and which is continuing.

Det. Scott Driemel: While we don't have a specific date.. I can tell you that another family meeting will be set for the near future in order to ensure the lines of communication remain open between police and families. Family liaisons and victim assistance volunteers are also avaiable to the families to address their needs.

The Joint Task Force WILL hold another news media update – update, not a news conference – on Monday at around 11:00 AM at Vancouver Police Department headquarters after Deps. If there's something we can say about how this day rolls out...we will say it then.

For your information...the Joint Task Force will again start holding weekly news media updates. The updates will be every Wednesday starting March 20th at either Vancouver Police Department headquarters or RCMP headquarters in Vancouver.

There will be no individual interviews about this case granted to the news media outside of those regular updates.

Thank you


Released by:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

and

Det. Scott Driemel
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

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MEDIA ADVISORY

March 8, 2002

As part of our on-going efforts to keep the Families of the Missing Women informed, members of the Missing Women Joint Task Force will be holding a Family Meeting this weekend. In order to ensure media interests and needs are met Cst. Cate Galliford and Det. Scott Driemel Spokespersons for the Joint Task Force will be available for a short briefing about the meeting.

DATE: Sunday March 10, 2002

LOCATION: North East section of the Parking lot
12992 - 76th Avenue, Surrey B.C.
TIME: 1:30 P.M.

Parking in the area will be limited. The media should be aware that they will not be able to park within the complex's parking lot and should therefore utilize any available street parking.

The statements issued at the briefing will be posted on the RCMP Media Website at www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca on Sunday.

Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

and

Scott Driemel, Det.
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
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Email:
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Robert William Pickton Makes First Court Appearance

February 25, 2002

Port Coquitlam, BC – This morning 52-year old Port Coquitlam resident Robert William Pickton made a brief court appearance in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court, in connection with the murders of two women listed as missing by the British Columbia's Missing Women Joint Task Force.

Robert William Pickton, who was arrested by police on Friday, faces two counts of first degree murder. Pickton is charged with one count of first degree murder in connection with the death of Mona Wilson, and one count of first degree murder in connection with the death of Sereena Abotsway. Pickton has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance on April 2, 2002.

Mona Wilson was born on January 13, 1975 . She was last seen on November 23, 2001 and was reported missing on November 30, 2001. She was among 5 women added to the list of missing women on January 15, 2002.

Sereena Abotsway was born on August 20, 1971. She was last seen August 1, 2001 and was reported missing on August 22, 2001. She was among the18 missing women added to the list on December 4, 2001.

The families have requested that the images below of Mona and Sereena be used when identifying their loved ones. (Photo image #1 - Mona Wilson, Photo Image #2 - Sereena Abotsway)

The Joint Task Force would like to remind everyone that the investigation into missing women is NOT over. The detailed, inch by inch search of the farm property will continue for many months to come. But that is just ONE part of this continuing case. The missing women's review process is still ongoing. Tips are being examined and investigated. The investigaiton by the Joint Task Force is continuing and anyone with any information is asked to contact the Missing Women Tip Line 1-877-687-3377.


Released by:

Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP
Joint Task Forced Spokesperson

and

Det. Scott Driemel, Vancouver Police
Joint Task Force Spokesperson

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Re: Abotsway

February 25, 2002

Please note: The correct spelling for Sereena Abotsway is SEREENA ABOTSWAY. The spelling listed in the poster issued December 4, 2001 was NOT correct.

The Abotsway family would appreciate the correct spelling be used. The family would also like to request that they be allowed some privacy as they are still in the grieving process. At this time they will not be granting any interviews.

Attached is a photo of Sereena that the family has made available to the media.

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MAN CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE INVESTIGATION

February 22, 2002

Port Coquitlam, BC – A 52-year old Port Coquitlam man has been charged in the murder of two women listed as missing by the British Columbia's Missing Women Joint Task Force.

Robert William Pickton was arrested by police on Friday and charged with two counts of first degree murder. Pickton is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Port Coquitlam on Monday. The Missing Women Joint Task Force, formed in 2001, is investigating the case of 50 women who have been reported missing over the past number of years.

Early in February, Joint Task Force members executed a search warrant on a 10-acre farm site in Port Coquitlam, a community near Vancouver. The intensive search in still underway involving up to 80 investigators using specialized forensic tools, dog teams, and other equipment brought onto the site. Police have said since the beginning of the search at the farm site that the search and investigation could take many months.

At a news conference at the search site on Friday night, Joint Task Force spokespeople said that although charges have been laid with respect to the death of two women, the investigation and search is far from over.

"Let us be very, very clear. The investigation into missing women is not over. The detailed, inch by inch search of the farm property will continue for many months to come," said Joint Task Force spokesperson Constable Catherine Galliford. "We believe we now have answers regarding the disappearance of two missing women. But this is a case involving 50 missing women. There are a lot of questions still unanswered. We will not rest until those answers are found."

The Missing Women Joint Task Force is comprised of investigators from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Vancouver Police Department. In addition, investigators from the Delta Police Department, the Abbotsford Police Department, the New Westminster Police Department, the provincial Organized Crime Agency, and specialized federal investigative units are assisting in the case.

For more information or background into the Joint Task Force investigation go to the Website at www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca

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MISSING WOMEN INVESTIGATION - MEDIA BRIEFING 8:00 PM

Missing Women's Joint Task Force
(Royal Canadian Mounted Police / Vancouver Police Department)

News Conference Comments

February 22, 2002
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia


(Det. Scott Driemel, Vancouver Police Dept. Joint Task Force Spokesperson) Thank you for coming.

We are going to make a statement...and then take a few questions.

The Missing Women's Joint Task Force is announcing that Robert William Pickton, age 52, of Port Coquitlam, was charged today with two counts of first degree murder. The murders are related to the case the Missing Women's Task Force is investigating.

(Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson) Mr. Pickton was arrested at a location in the Lower Mainland. The arrest was carried out quickly and peacefully. Mr. Pickton is now in police custody and will appear in court on Monday in Port Coquitlam. We will not disclose the location of where he is being held.

Out of respect for family members...we are not at this time going to disclose the names of the victims connected to the charges laid against Mr. Pickton. This is a time for family grieving and for families and friend to reconcile what is happening. We will release the names of the victims on Monday.

The Joint Task Force respects an individual's presumption of innocence and their right to due process.

The charges against Mr. Pickton...are based on our continuing search and investigation of a farm property in Port Coquitlam. We also want to acknowledge the information that came forward from the public through the Joint Task Force Tip Line.

(Det. Scott Driemel) Our methods and our evidence will now be assessed and tested in a court of law. That means...after today...police are NOT in a position to comment in any fashion on this case before the court.

A lot of people have worked very hard in making this arrest possible.

The Missing Women's Joint Task Force is comprised...officially...of members from the Vancouver Police Department and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In addition...the investigation is being assisted by the Delta Police Department, the Abbotsford Police Department, the New Westminister Police Department, the provincial Organized Crime Agency, and many specialized federal investigative sections.

This investigation is a very good example of what an integrated approach to solving crime can accomplish.

But there are more than police investigators involved.

The arrest today could not have been possible without the assistance of the public and especially the families. We also want to thank the various community groups who have...and are...working very hard in their efforts to assist police and women.

Over the past few days and weeks in particular...hundreds of people have come forward with very useful new information. Many other people...who may not normally feel compelled to help police...have come forward and provided us what they could.

And you...the news media...are to be commended for helping communicate information to the public that in turn motivated people to come out of the shadows to help investigators.

(Cst. Cate Galliford) We believe we now have answers regarding the disappearance of two missing women.

But this is a case involving 50 missing women.

There are a lot of questions still unanswered. We will not rest until those answers are found.

Let us be very, very clear.

The investigation into missing women is NOT over. The detailed, inch by inch search of the farm property will continue for many months to come. We said before...and we will say it again...we have science, expertise, and time on our side.

And we have said this before and we will say it again.

This is NOT a search for a needle in a haystack. It is precise, methodical, highly integrated police investigation involving real people who are missing. People with friends, family, and loved ones.

(Det. Scott Driemel) Today...we made an arrest and charges have been laid.

But that is just ONE part of this continuing case. The missing women's review process is still ongoing. Tips are being examined and investigated. More tips are coming in and they too will be investigated. The farm property...as we have said...is just one part of our investigation. There are many investigative avenues still being followed that do not include the farm.

We can now take a few questions...but please bear in mind we are compelled by law, the constitution, and the justice system to very carefully restrict our comments now that an arrest has been made and charges have been laid.

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URGENT: MEDIA ADVISORY

February 22, 2002

Vancouver, BC: The Missing Women Joint Task Force will be holding a News Conference later today.

DATE: Friday February 22, 2002

LOCATION: Media Stagging Area in East Parking Lot of Port Coquitlam Home Depot - off of Ottawa Street.

TIME: 8:00 P.M.

Media parking in the back stagging area by the news briefing tent will be restricted. Only Satellite/Microvan Trucks and equipment vehicles will be allowed to park in that back stagging area. All personal vehicles should park in the front parking area of the Home Depot. And a reminder that Dominion Street is restricted to local traffic only.

Cst. Cate Galliford and Det. Scott Driemel Spokespersons for the Joint Task Force will be in attendance and will only be available for comment at that time and location.

The statements issued will be posted on the RCMP Media Website at www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca at the conclusion of the conference.

Released for:

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

and

Scott Driemel, Det
VPD - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

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Missing Women Investigation - Media Briefing 2:00 pm

February 20, 2002


(Cst. Cate Galliford - RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson) This is the 15th day of the Joint Task Force search of the Port Coquitlam farm property.

We have reached a point now where our investigators and forensic experts are well settled in.

We have reached a point in this search where there is a significant amount of new tips...where investigators have settled into a pattern of steady progress. That's the way we expect events to proceed for quite some time.

Starting immediately, we are going to hold news media updates once a week...starting next week.

We do want to be clear that if something major does break in this case...and we can tell you...we will hold a news conference as quickly as possible.

As always...there will be no interviews granted about the search in between our regular updates.

We now have more than 800 tips about the Missing Women case since a search warrant was executed on the farm property belonging to the Pickton family. We are continuing to get a steady stream of people who have visited the farm and are willing to volunteer their DNA so that we can narrow down the DNA samples collected in our search of the farm.

(Det. Scott Driemel - VPD Joint Task Force Spokesperson) I am seeing a great level of cooperation from people who might not normally come forward to help police. Somebody described what's going on as... "the street is fighting back."

I agree that there are many people today fighting back against the violence that may have been perpetrated against the missing women we are searching for.

The level of cooperation and support coming from a variety of sources, be they sex trade workers, friends and associates of the missing women, and many others is very positive.

(Cst. Cate Galliford - RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson) What I am seeing...is that people who feel they may have some information to help the Joint Task Force... are putting aside their fear. There's an environment of trust being created between police and others. The need by many to see justice done is influencing the behavior of many we have spoken to.

Some of the people who are calling in with information...or volunteering their DNA...or meeting with investigators...have lives that often put them in very vulnerable situations. To show courage at this time...to come forward because they believe it is the right thing to do...say a lot about the character and integrity of these people...

Thank you

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media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca MISSING WOMEN INVESTIGATION - MEDIA BRIEFING 2:OO PM

MONDAY February 18, 2002

2:00 PM (1400 hrs)

(Cst. Cate Galliford - RCMP, Joint Task Force Spokesperson) As you now know...investigators have extended their search to the house located on the farm property. This was done on Saturday as part of the search warrant granting police access to other areas of the farm.

There may have been some misunderstanding that the house was NOT a part of the search warrant executed by the Joint Task Force. If that is the case...we are sorry for the misunderstanding. The house always has been part of the search warrant. However, as we stated before, from the information we had during the initial stages of the search we had no reason to search the house. As the investigation has progressed that has changed. As you know we have received numerous tips from the public which have been scrutinized by investigators. As a result of some of these new tips the investigators have a new interest in the house.

The house was the subject of a search on Saturday because forensic investigators had specialized staff on hand and made a decision to start expanding the search.

For your benefit...it's probably useful to shed some light on just how this search and investigation works.

Based on certain information...the Joint Task Force executed a search warrant on the farm property. In designing a search strategy...investigators had specific priorities. The first priorities included the mobile home and certain outbuildings. A lesser priority was the house. Because of the nature of the investigation...we will not go into detail on why one building had a greater priority than another.


The search of the property is being done inch by inch, using very sensitive equipment. Everything we find is recorded, tabulated, tagged, and in the case of DNA samples, tested in an RCMP laboratory.

(Det. Scott Driemel - VPD, Joint Task Force Spokesperson) In parallel to the detailed forensic search of the property...is an analysis of the hundreds of new tips we are getting. And in addition to that are numerous side investigations, interviews, and possibly other searches.

The Joint Task Force can tell you that as of this hour... more than 800 tips from the public have come in since our search warrant was executed. We can tell you that many of those tips have led police to conduct further investigations and interviews.

The tips coming into the Tip Line at 1-877-687-3377...are proving very valuable. The Joint Task Force thanks the public for becoming partners in this very detailed investigation. And in particular...we thank those who are coming forward with some very concrete information.

(Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP, Joint Task Force Spokesperson) In addition...10 more people have come forward over the weekend with an offer to provide DNA samples related to the mobile home on the property. This is in addition to the 30 others who have already made such a DNA commitment. We are asking anyone who has ever been to the trailer to offer samples of DNA so that we can narrow down the identity of DNA we are finding.

As new information grows in strength and detail, older information is viewed in a new light. There is nothing static about this search or investigation. It is impossible to look at even one tiny bit of new information...without considering the context of everything else. Everything is interwoven. And it can and does change.


(Det. Scott Driemel - VPD, Joint Task Force Spokesperson) We know it can be frustrating to the news media and others to not have all of the details of this investigation as it unfolds. But there is no frustration greater than that being experienced by family members who are wondering about the whereabouts and fate of their loved ones.

The objective of the Joint Task Force is to address the emotional needs of the families of missing women, to bring closure to their fear and pain. And our objective is to see justice served. We are doing everything humanly and scientifically possible to meet those objectives.


We will now take a few questions...

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MISSING WOMEN INVESTIGATION - MEDIA BRIEFING 2:00 PM

February 15, 2002 (Friday)

2:00 PM Update


Good afternoon.

(Cst. Cate Galliford - RCMP) Just for your information and planning...there will be NO NEWS MEDIA UPDATE SESSIONS ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY. Our next update to you will be here...on MONDAY FEBRUARY 18th.

If something happens over the weekend that requires your attention...we will schedule a news conference here with plenty of advance notice.

As always...there will be NO news media interviews or information conveyed outside of the regular news media updates.

Now for what we can tell you today.

(Det. Scott Driemel - Vancouver Police) Throughout the day you will be seeing the continual delivery of over 750 tonnes of gravel to the location for site stabilization. The site stabilization is for a number of construction-type trailers that will take the place of temporary police facilities on site.

In addition...we are establishing permanent communication and power facilities on site for our investigators. We are doing a detailed...careful...precise search and analysis of this property. We will not be rushed.

We are here to get results. And we are getting results.

Ladies and gentlemen...there have been some comments made by some people about how our investigation is going to face challenges finding anything of substance. Well...we have news for those people.

Our investigators...representing a tightly integrated effort by police from Vancouver and the RCMP, and from numerous sections and detachments of the RCMP...take this investigation very seriously.

There is tremendous mutual aid and support...not only amongst investigators..but between police and the families of the missing women. And let us make this very clear.

There is a tremendous search going on at this site.

But there is also tremendous compassion and attention for ALL women who face violence and threats of violence in their lives. Let's get this straight. The Missing Women's task force is here doing an extensive search.

But this site is not the be all and end all for our investigation.

(Cst. Cate Galliford - RCMP) On Thursday we told you that close to 30 people have come forward within the past 24 hours with offers of providing DNA samples so that we can narrow down the DNA samples found in the trailer on the site.

Today we can tell you that even more people are coming forward with offers of their DNA. These are people who have been to the trailer. We thank those who have come forward and appreciate others who will come forward.

Again, those who submit DNA related to this investigation will not have that DNA used in any other investigation.

We can tell you that the DNA that has been found...and that which is still forthcoming...is a top priority for RCMP laboratories across the country. Today...RCMP labs from Vancouver to Halifax are working on this case.

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MISSING WOMEN INVESTIGATION - MEDIA BRIEFING 2:00 PM

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 14, 2002

Joint Missing Women Task Force: 1400 hrs

Cst. Cate Galliford, RCMP: We would like to thank the news media for helping us reach out to people who have come to the mobile home located on the search site.

Today, we can report that since our plea yesterday, more than 30 people have contacted the Joint Task Force with an offer to supply DNA samples. By giving us DNA samples, investigators with the Joint Task Force will be able to further narrow down the identity of the DNA samples found inside the trailer.

But this is a continuing task and we need more help from those who have been to the trailer on the search site. We respect the need for trust. We understand the fear. And we understand the need for protection.

The Joint Task Force has 40 members trained in the collection, handling and proper storage of DNA. We also have a consent form that guarantees any DNA samples collected by the Joint Task Force will ONLY be used for the purposes of the Joint Task Force on Missing Women.

Det. Scott Driemel, Vancouver Police: I want to make that point again. Any DNA provided to the Joint Task Force will only be used for the purposes of this investigation and search. The Joint Task Force guarantees this protection in writing.

There have been questions about why a refrigeration truck was brought on site by police and what is being loaded into that truck. We are not going to answer any questions about that action.

We can report that in cooperation with the owners of the property, some heavy equipment and machinery has been moved off site. We're not going into details about what specifically that equipment is.

Ladies and gentlemen...this is NOT a search for a needle in a haystack. This is a thorough, detailed, and well integrated police investigation. We have science and expertise on our side. We are dealing with human emotions and very human needs. And we are very determined to do everything that is necessary to bring closure to this case.

Additional remarks made during Q & A:

• Cars that are on the property are part of the search warrant.
• There are 15 outbuildings on the site and all are part of the search, however the residence is not part of the search warrant.
• There are a minimum of 8 and as many of 40 - 45 investigators on the site at any given time.


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MISSING WOMEN JOINT TASK FORCE - MEDIA BRIEFING 2:00 PM

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 13, 2002

1400 hrs

(Det. Scott Driemel - Vancouver Police) There are a number of key issues we want to address with you today.

Our first item relates to the Tip Line established by the Joint Task Force. The Tip Line is turning out to be a great source of new information related to this case. Significant information has come forward and we review every tip received. As of today we have received close to 600 tips.

What is NOT useful is having the news media call the Tip Line and question the people working there. Calls from the news media to the Tip Line simply ties up an important source of information to police. So...please...refrain from calling the Tip Line in an effort to find a story angle.

Now information related to the current search.

As you know there is a mobile home trailer situated on the Pickton Farm property. This trailer is a focus of intense forensic investigation. Investigators now have in their possession, specific items of interest taken from the trailer and certain DNA samples. We cannot be specific about what that information is. But we can say that the search for evidence is continuing and expanding.

As of today...you will start seeing increased search activity on the property...specifically at the trailer. Again...we are not going into details.



It is a long, slow, steady and careful process. But rest assured...investigators will examine every nook and cranny, every square foot of ground, and every inch of material. We will not rush this examination in any way.

(Cst. Cate Galliford - RCMP)

Currently investigators are securing DNA samples from a number of individuals. The idea of this process is to help us bring a narrower focus to the information we have at hand so far.

We encourage women and others to appreciate the importance of this process. To feel safe in coming forward. And to know that the Joint Task Force understands their feelings, their fears, and their needs.

The Joint Task Force would like to make this public request. We would like to ask anyone who has been to the trailer now being searched on the Pickton farm property to contact the Tip Line. In addition, we would like to ask anyone who knows anyone who has been to the trailer to also call the Tip Line. The Tip Line number is 1-877-687-3377.

This information can play a crucial role in the Joint Task Force investigation.

The internet and the RCMP web site is also helping us reach journalists and the public. By going to www.rcmp-bcmedia.ca you will find access to all public information released to date.

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Joint Missing Women Task Force - News Briefing Feb 12: 2:00pm

February 12, 2002
2:00pm

CST. CATE GALLIFORD - RCMP

There is nothing significant to report at this hour regarding the actual search being conducted on site. As you know...we cannot and will not go into any details regarding anything going on at the site.

We also will not talk about the details in any news reports that may be associated with information being linked to this case.

From the very beginning we have stressed that this search is complex, will take time, and by necessity requires investigators to painstakingly examine the scene inch by inch.

This morning, the Joint Task Force's family contact met with a number of family members near the site.

It is very understandable that family members have a need to be near the search site, to be near the shrine that has been built to honor the missing women, to watch police working, to have privacy, and to have a place where they can meet and talk and share their feelings.

DET. SCOTT DRIEMEL - VANCOUVER POLICE

What the Joint Task Force is doing is having a large tent set up near the site to accommodate the needs of the family. We are very pleased to say that the tent, chairs, and other needs in the tent are being donated by community interests. It is an example of the great community support being shown to family members and police by community members and local businesses.

We are not going to tell you how to do your job as reporters. But we ask you as people who understand the emotional needs of others...to respect the privacy of family members using their tent site.

With us today is Freda Ens. Freda is executive director with the Vancouver Police & Native Liaison Society and was part of the family meeting with us this morning.

The Joint Task Force would like to give Freda an opportunity to speak to the public and to share not only her thoughts but the feelings of other family members.

FREDA ENS - EXEC. DIRECTOR VANCOUVER POLICE NATIVE LIAISON ....

Thank you for giving me some time.

I have been in contact with many families associated with this search. Those families want to express their appreciation to investigators.

Family members also want to say that they know why information cannot be shared in detail because that could jeopardize the case.

The families also would like to thank the news media who helped push the investigation to where it is today.

I would ask, on behalf of the families, for the news media to respect the privacy of family members as they meet in the tent...

This is an important part of the healing process. Please respect our need for privacy to share these moments

The tent will be a very special place for us. We have set up a volunteer family support group and at times that group will meet in the tent.

We are also working with the Joint Task Force in arranging for transportation to our tent for family members who cannot get here.

In addition...we want to send a message to family members who may feel uncomfortable in coming here with all the media attention. If those people contact us we can arrange for an escorted visit that respects their privacy.

We also understand the news media's needs to talk to family members...and we will take steps to try and accommodate that.

I would like to share a message with family members who feel they have not received information or feel they are off the contact list.

If family members would like to be on a list, if family members would like help in coming to the site, please contact 604-687-8411 in Vancouver. We will accept collect calls.

Released by:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokersperson

Det. Scott Driemel
Vancouver Police - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

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MEDIA BRIEFING 11:00 AM

MONDAY FEBRUARY 11, 2002
11:00 AM

Thank you for coming.

Just a reminder...there will be another briefing at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon ...as of tomorrow, Tuesday February 12th...we will hold news media updates once a day...at 2:00 PM. We are also assessing the need at this time to hold weekend updates.

This is a slow, careful, meticulous search involving a very challenging area of land and buildings. The fact is...there is not a lot of new information to convey every day to the public, the families and the news media. Certainly...if something of magnitude occurs, and we can share that information, we will call a news conference.

Now for what we can share today.

As of Sunday night, the Missing Women Tip Line has received over 400 tips from the public. The tips have come in over the past few days. The Joint Task Force would like to thank the public for their calls, some of which are very significant. We'd also like to thank the news media for continuing to make the Tip Line public.

The Joint Task Force has assigned three dedicated staff to review the tips, index them according to subject matter and other details, and pass the information onto investigators. They are asking the public to be patient. Every call is taken seriously... but it would be fair to not expect a call back right away. Calling twice with the same information can tie up the tip lines or other callers.

There was a meeting last night between the Joint Task Force and a number of family members. The idea is to get as much information as possible to the family as quickly as possible without jeopardizing the investigation. The job of communicating with family members is somewhat complicated because those we want to reach are located throughout British Columbia, Canada and the United States.


In addition, some family members have told us that they would rather not hear every specific detail about what's going on. Others feel some knowledge about our search may help their grieving process.


The Joint Task Force wants to make this point. We are dealing with people here.. whether they are missing people or their family and friends. People have emotions, hopes, and feelings. The Joint Task Force is sensitive to this and will respect the families' need for both communication and privacy.


Finally, you noticed yesterday that some small wading pools were brought in. We can tell you that the pools will be used to hold displaced ground water while investigators analyze the water.

Released by:

Det. Scott Driemel
Vancouver Police - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson


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3:00 PM MEDIA BRIEFING

MONDAY FEBRUARY 11, 2002: 3:00 PM

Cst. Cate Galliford :

There was a question about budgets.

What we can tell you is that the Joint Task Force has an ongoing operational budget. That budget is used to pay ongoing, daily costs associated with the investigation. What police also have is a contingency fund to deal with sudden, unexpected events that are large in scope.

This search clearly qualifies as a large event. Indeed we believe that this search and associated investigations represent one of the largest coordinated police efforts in BC.

We are not going to give you specific budget numbers now related to either the ongoing operational costs or the contingency fund. What the Joint Task Force can say is that we are pleased with the level of confidence and support provided by not only senior police management, but also by the provincial Solicitor General.

Det. Scott Driemel:

There was a question about how many investigators are working on the case. As of this hour, there are 85 police and associated personnel, including some who come and go on a rotating basis. The expertise of the personnel varies widely. There are forensic experts, major crime investigators, family consultation experts, and a variety of other subject experts adding their knowledge to this case.

Additional facilities might be brought in during the next 24 - 48 hrs to help accommidate the increased personnel.

Over the coming days and possibly weeks the Joint Task Force would like to bring forward some subject matter experts to help you understand how this complicated investigation is rolling out.

Investigations of this magnitude are a complex and often shadowy web of interconnected issues and bits of information. As we discover yet another link in the web it can change the nature of what we already know. Hopefully, we will soon see the full picture

Once again a reminder...as of tomorrow, Tuesday February 12th...we will hold news media updates once a day...at 2:00 PM.

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Joint Missing Women Task Force: Feb.10 11:00 am News Briefing

February 10, 2002

The following information was released during the 11:00 a.m. news briefing.

This search is NOT confined to one area. The way it works is that we start with a very detailed examination of the outbuildings. Essentially moving inch by inch, looking at everything from a forensic perspective. That is why you can see investigators at work in white jump suits moving very slowly and carefully through the scene. Now at the same time we do a general search of the site. That is why you see the search dogs at work.

The tents that you see erected on site are there for one reason. That reason is to offer shelter for some very sensitive equipment that investigators must use in their search.

We are bringing in 500 sand bags to help deal with the water drainage issue. The local fire department is playing a big role in helping us think this issue through.

The SPCA continues to work with us in dealing with the various animals on site. Right now the objective is to look after the well being of those animals. By the way, the animals have no role to play in terms of evidence.

We'd like to bring you up to speed on our relationships with the families. Communications with family members is a top priority to us. We have had discussions with family members over the past 24 hours and progress is being made. We may have more for you on this process on Monday.

Released by:

Det. Scott Driemel
Vancouver Police - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

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Joint Missing Women Task Force: February 10 3:00 p.m. News Briefing

February 10, 2002

Members from the Joint Task Force will be meeting with family representatives this afternoon to bring them up to date on what's happening.

Out of respect for the family's privacy, we are not going to release the time or location of this meeting. What is important here is that police continue to keep family members in the communications loop as best we can.

We also want to convey our thanks to family members who have publicly said that what's important is that this investigation be done carefully, that evidence not be jeopardized, and that police have a chance to do their job.

There's no doubt that investigators have been working very hard searching this property. Obviously there will come a time when additional investigators will be brought in from other municipalities throughout the Lower Mainland to help us out. Who will be coming from where and for how long is now being decided.

A short time ago horse trailers were brought onto the site. The trailers were brought onto the property after a request by members of the family. While the trailers are on the property...they are not being allowed onto the actual search site. This removal of animals is being done with SPCA assistance.

We are also dealing with the heavy rains. Steps are being taken to contain or drain water sources.

And finally tips do continue to come in on this case, thanks to the news media reports of the phone number. We can also add that in the past 48 hours, access to the RCMP newsmedia information site has jumped in traffic by 25%. Access to that information is coming from around the world.

** Please Note: Shawn Eccles, Manager BC SPCA Vancouver Regional Branch told the media that the SPCA attended the property and have removed 2 Llamas, approximately 40 sheep, 10 goats, and 6 pigs. 2 pigs were euthanized earlier this week at a Vet's assistance and 2 sheep are in the SPCA's care. The animals have not been seized they have been removed so that they can be cared for with the owner's permission.

Released by:

Cst. Cate Galliford
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

and

Det. Scott Driemel
Vancouver Police - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Joint Missing Women Task Force - 11:00 a.m. Briefing for February 9

February 9, 2002

There is nothing new to report from overnight investigations and the search of the property. We are moving inch by inch, centimetre by centimetre, ensuring that nothing gets overlooked.

We have concerns about the well being of livestock on the site. This is a working farm. There are about 30 sheep, about a dozen pigs, about a dozen goats, there are a couple of llamas, and a couple of cows.

Police are now trying to work out an animal safety agreement with the family. What we'd like to do is reach an agreement wherein the SPCA can remove the animals and look after them at another site. We think this would be better for the animals and certainly make our search easier.

We have now secured the site with about 4,000 lineal feet of fencing. This is a standard precaution to protect the site and any possible evidence from outside contamination. The fencing is being watched 24 hours a day, seven days a week by police who are patrolling the outside area on foot.

This is a very dynamic search. Police are coming and going with various levels of expertise brought in as needed. At any one time we can have been 12 and 40 or more direct investigators on the site. The skills range from forensic specialists to fine-detail search specialists.

We are aware that there has been some concern from some family members that they feel out of the information loop. We apologize for them feeling that way. The Joint Task Force contacted family members to let them know we were coming onto this site. We are now taking steps to make sure we can keep them regularly updated with whatever information we can share without jeopardizing the investigation.

There continues to be speculation about events related to this case from two years ago. This is what must be understood. Information was received in the past about this case and that information has been acted on.

Focussing intently on any one element of a case, or at any one moment in time in an investigation, is like jumping to conclusions about a giant jig-saw puzzle by shining one bright light on one small piece of that puzzle.

A police investigation involves looking at how ALL pieces fit together. A police investigation involves getting new information. A police investigation even involves challenging past assumptions based on what's new. That is how cases eventually get solved.

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

April news release -RCMP and Vancouver Police joint forces to review files related to street trade workers

April 10, 2001



VANCOUVER, BC

The RCMP Major Crime Section has joined forces with Vancouver Police Department to review all Vancouver files related to the homicides and disappearances of street trade workers.

This joint forces review project is much broader in scope in such that it is not limited to the 31 missing Vancouver women already identified. The review will take a long and methodical look at all files of reported missing and murdered Vancouver street trade workers using computer systems not previously avaliable.

The costs of the project will be shared jointly between RCMP and Vancouver City as there are 2 RCMP officers and 2 Vancouver Police Department officers reviewing the files. This joint forces project like many others demonstrates the continued excellent working relationship between the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP.

The Vancouver Police Department should be commended on their diligent work as they successfully eliminated 4 women of the 31 listed as missing from the Missing Women poster through outstanding police work. Such methodical police work takes time as will this review.

Should anyone from the public have any information regarding a homicide or disappearance of a Vancouver street trade worker, please call Crime Stoppers at 669-TIPS (8477) or outside the Lower Mainland at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Released by:
Danielle Efford, Cst. "E"Division Media Relations

Detective Scott Driemel Vancouver Police Department


Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Joint Missing Women Task Force: NEWS BRIEFING 3:00

February 9, 2002

The following information was released at the 3:00 p.m. news briefing.

Police are now consulting with the local fire department regarding how pools of ground water may be dealt with. That is why you may have noticed vehicles from the fire department on site.

The SPCA arrived on the scene and is considering the removal of a number of animals from the site. The idea here is to look after the well being of the animals. Please understand that police have no interest in these animals from an investigative point of view.

We'd like to thank the news media for publishing the number of the tips line related to this case. We can tell you that we have received over 250 tips from the public in just the last few days. The investigators are analysising and assess them.

We want to particulary stress that some of the tips that have come in are very valuable. Obviously we can't go into details. But...we want to again thank the media and especially the public for contacting us. We very much encourage the tips to continue coming in.

Dog teams continue to arrive on scene to assist with the search of the property. They are trained in various areas of investigation and are part of the overall search.

Earlier we were asked by the media how long this search may take place. We have said it is moving inch by inch. We must be extremely careful and scientific in how we conduct the search. In some ways, for you it will be like watching a snail carefully crossing a road. Eventually we will get where we're going. But don't expect rushed results. Once again that Tip Line number is 1-877-687-3377

Where we are today is looking at how one part of a very large jigsaw puzzle fits into the overall puzzle if it fits at all. There are many parts to this puzzle. Remember that we are also looking at other pieces of this large puzzle. And we are looking at how that information all connects.

Next briefing on February 10th @ 11:00 a.m.


Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

MEDIA ADVISORY!!!

February 8, 2002

Coquitlam, BC - A media briefing is being called. Based on the ongoing investigation at the Port Coquitlam Farm, a media briefing will be held in the parking lot of Home Depot located in Port Coquitlam. This is not a news conference but a media availability.



Scheduled time: 3:30 pm

Location: Home Depot Parking Lot (East side) on Ottawa St, Port Coquitlam

*Home Depot is just behind the Cost Co Store
*Ottawa St is the first light West of the Pitt River bridge off of Lougheed Hwy.

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Joint Task Force - News Briefing 3:30 pm

February 8, 2002
Time released: 3:30pm


The following information was provided at the briefing.

- The investigation is proceeding in a careful and deliberate way.

- We will not discuss any details pertaining to the operation or the investigation. We can say that all information received on this case, including received in past years, has been well shared and has been acted on. We can't go any further than that.

- We can tell you that a toll free tip line is still in place for anyone who wants to pass on information to investigators. That number is 1-877-687-3377.

- There have been reports in the news media about certain specific articles found at the site. We will not confirm the accuracy of that reporting. What we will say is that everything that has been and will be found is being closely examined for evidentiary value.

- At this time, no charges have been laid with respect to the missing women case. One of the co-owners of the farm property, Robert William Pickton, is scheduled to appear in court on February 28th on weapons charges. Those charges are the result of an initial search warrant executed on his residence.

- You will also notice additional police resources being brought in to patrol the perimeter of the fence erected by police. Those resources are required because of the scope of the property and the importance of ensuring the area remains protected.

- In addition, the roadway where many of you are now currently parked will cleared of vehicles for safety reasons. We suggest you consider parking in this area.

Our next briefing will be held tomorrow, Saturday at 11 AM at this site in the East end of the Port Coquitlam Home Depot.


Released by:

Scott Driemel, Det
Vancouver Police Department - Joint Force Spokesperson

and

Cate Galliford, Cst.
RCMP - Joint Task Force Spokesperson

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

FIVE WOMEN ADDED TO LIST OF MISSING FROM DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE

January 15, 2002

Vancouver, BC: The Vancouver Missing Women Review Team has added five women to the list of those missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. These women have been added to the official list of missing women as a result of the continuing review of all missing persons cases and homicides of Vancouver street trade workers.

These additions bring the total of missing women to 50.

The five missing women are:

Rebecca Louisa GUNO
Date of Birth - May 25th, 1960
Reported Missing - June 25th, 1983 to Vancouver Police Dept.
Last Seen - June 22, 1983

Heather Kathleen BOTTOMLEY
Date of Birth - Aug. 17th, 1976
Reported Missing - April 17th, 2001 to Vancouver Police Dept.
Last Seen - April 17th, 2001

Mona Lee WILSON
Date of Birth - Jan. 13th, 1975
Reported Missing - Nov. 30th, 2001 to Vancouver Police Dept.
Last Seen - Nov. 23rd, 2001

Dianne Rosemary ROCK
Date of Birth - Sept. 2nd, 1967
Reported Missing - Dec. 13th, 2001 to Vancouver Police Dept.
Last Seen - Oct. 19th, 2001


Elaine Phyllis DUMBA
Date of Birth - March 12th, 1955
Reported Missing - April 9th, 1998 to
Coquitlam RCMP
Last Seen - 1989

The review team is working closely with various agencies in the Downtown Eastside to ensure the women working in that area remain vigilant, not only for themselves but for each other, and we are encouraging them to contact the police with information that may help solve these disappearances.

Should anyone from the public have information regarding the homicide or disappearance of a Vancouver street trade worker, please phone Crime Stoppers at 604-662-TIPS (8477) or the Missing Woman Tip line at 1-877-687-3377.

* Photos : Image 1 Rebecca GUNO
Image 2 Dianne ROCK
Image 3 Mona WILSON

Released by:

Cate Galliford, Cst. RCMP/Vancouver Missing Women Review Team
Phone: (604)660-4203
Pager: (604)632-9181

and

Scott Driemel, Detective
Vancouver Police Media Relations
Phone: (604)717-2681


Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

INVESTIGATION EXPANDS TO LOCATE MISSING WOMEN

December 4, 2001

Vancouver, BC: The Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP joined forces last April to review the cases of women reported missing from the Vancouver downtown eastside.

The investigators have reviewed over 5000 British Columbian files and continue to review thousands more including those of missing women, murdered and attempted sex trade workers, murdered and attempted hitchhikers, serious sexual assaults and serious assaults committed against sex trade workers.

As a result, police are asking the public's assistance to locate 18 newly identified women. If efforts fail to locate these women, their names will be added to the existing list of missing women.

The review team is working to obtain additional resources to coordinate the current investigative leads and the work being done by the historical review team. These investigators would proactively work with Vancouver Police officers and the various support agencies that exist in the downtown eastside. The joint force commitment is to make the streets safe not only for the women who frequent the downtown eastside but for everyone who uses these city streets.

A tip line has been established for anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of any one of these women : MISSING WOMEN TIP LINE 1-877-687-3377.

* Poster is posted as image 1 below

BACKGROUNDER:

- The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and the RCMP joined forces in April 2001 to review all the reports of women missing from the Vancouver downtown eastside to look for any information or common link that may assist in discovering who may be responsible for their
disappearances.

- In addition to reviewing these files, the review team are also looking at all BC homicide and attempted homicide cases of sex trade workers all BC homicides and attempts of hitchhikers all BC serious sexual assaults committed against sex trade workers all BC serious assaults committed against sex trade workers

- The historical review team has reviewed over 5000 files thus far with many thousands more to filter through.

- The review team currently consists of 16 investigators (7 VPD and 9 RCMP from all over the LMD) and 5 support staff (2 VPD & 3 RCMP).

- The review has identified to date 600 to 1000 potential suspects.

- There have been 107 murder cases dating back to the early 70's where the victim was a sex trade worker. 55 have been solved in which all killers were different.

Released by:
Danielle Efford, Cst.
RCMP Communications
Phone: (604) 264-2932

and

Scott Driemel, Detective Cst.
Vancouver Police Media Relations
Phone: (604) 717-2681

Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: N/A
Fax: (604)264-3200
Email:
media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

VANCOUVER'S MISSING EASTSIDE WOMEN

 

Email: wleng#missingpeople.net 

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

Updated: August 21, 2016