VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
For Island families, Pickton trial brings different emotions
Thursday, July 24, 2003
A judge's decision Wednesday to send Port Coquitlam pig farmer Robert Pickton to trial for murder was met with mixed emotions by two Vancouver Island families.
Relatives of Andrea Joesbury and Marnie Frey were pleased a judge found enough evidence at the preliminary hearing to commit Pickton to trial on 15 counts of first-degree murder.
For Joesbury's family in Esquimalt, the ordeal of a trial now lies ahead. Joesbury is among the 15 for which Pickton has been ordered to stand trial.
But the Freys are left wondering when their daughter will get justice. While Frey's remains were discovered eight months ago, no charge has been laid.
"I just don't understand," Campbell River resident Lyn Frey said. "I want justice and accountability for what happened to Marnie." She wants Pickton or someone else to be prosecuted for Marnie's death.
She and husband Rick held a memorial for their daughter after they were informed her remains were found on the Pickton pig farm in November. But the remains have yet to be returned to the family, so a goodbye hasn't been possible, which prolongs their grief, Frey said.
Marnie disappeared in 1997 just as she was about to turn 24. Like the others who disappeared, she had been part of Vancouver's seedy Downtown Eastside street life.
Andrea's step-grandfather Jack Cummer, also of Esquimalt, said he couldn't sleep Tuesday night as he awaited the decision in the preliminary hearing. "I kept seeing Mr. Pickton," he said. "I'm getting more faith in the justice system. Isn't (the decision) wonderful?"
He is not so sure he wants to sit through the trial. His wife Laila, Andrea's grandmother, wants to attend a few days.
He will accompany her, but isn't keen on listening to the testimony. "I have heard some pretty grisly things. . . . I'd just as soon not sit in court and listen to them again."
Andrea was 23 when her doctor reported that she failed to pick up her methadone, which she was taking as part of her heroine addiction program in the Downtown Eastside. No one has reported seeing her after that.
Three other Island families continue to wait for news on their loved ones who are on the RCMP's missing women list. Cathy Knight of Victoria, Erin McGrath of Parksville and Tiffany Louise Drew of Nanaimo remain missing.
© Copyright 2003 Times Colonist (Victoria)
Correction at the end of this article: Leigh Miner and not Erin Mcgrath is missing. Erin is Leigh's sister.
Updated: August 21, 2016