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Vancouver missing women’s task force to search second site in Fraser Valley
at 14:39 on July 20, 2003, EST.
GREG JOYCE

VANCOUVER (CP) - Police will search a wetlands area in the Fraser Valley in the continuing investigation into the disappearance of women from Vancouver's seedy Downtown Eastside.

The new site was identified from evidence uncovered in the search of a Port Coquitlam, B.C., pig farm owned by Robert Pickton, RCMP Const. Catherine Galliford said Sunday. "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," Galliford said.

Pickton, 53, is facing 15 charges of first-degree murder in connection with a long list of women, most of whom disappeared from a seedy stroll area favoured by the hookers in the rough-and-tumble Downtown Eastside over the past two decades.

The new search site in Mission, about 65 kilometres east of Vancouver, was announced at a news conference called by the RCMP-Vancouver police missing women's joint task force.

The site is located in a high-traffic area adjacent to the Lougheed Highway.

It is not known how long the search will take. Neither Galliford nor police spokeswoman Det. Const. Sheila Sullivan would disclose details of what investigators will be looking for at the site.

Galliford said the search warrant was served on a member of the First Nations band that owns the land.

The search site is about 350 metres long and 50 metres wide and consists mainly of wetlands, a slough and ground cover.

Charges in the missing women case were laid after police raided a farm owned by Pickton and his brother and sister on Feb. 6, 2002. Pickton was charged with the first two of the 15 murders Feb. 22, 2002.

Pickton's preliminary hearing is expected to wrap up this week.

Provincial court Judge David Stone will then decide whether there is enough evidence to commit Pickton for trial.

The trial would be held in B.C. Supreme Court and likely would not begin until sometime next year.

Pickton is charged with the murders of Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Diane Rock, Jacqueline McDonell, Heather Bottomley, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Wolfe, Jennifer Furminger, Helen Hallmark, Patricia Johnson, Georgina Papin, Heather Chinnock, Tanya Holyk, Sherry Irving and Inga Hall.

The 15 were among a total that eventually rose to 61 women - mostly drug-addicted prostitutes - who disappeared from the poverty-stricken Downtown Eastside.

Galliford said some investigators from the Port Coquitlam farm will be searching the Mission site, along with an eight-member team of RCMP divers.

She said two of the four soil sifters being used in Port Coquitlam have been shut down so the soil underneath can be excavated and searched.

The 52 anthropologists who were manning those two sifters will be searching the new site in Mission, Galliford said.

Sullivan said the area has been fenced off and there will be 24-hour security on site.

Vancouver missing women’s task force to search second site
National News

July 20, 2003, EST.
GREG JOYCE

VANCOUVER (CP) - Police will search a wetlands area in the Fraser Valley in the continuing investigation into the disappearance of women from Vancouver's seedy Downtown Eastside.

The new site was identified from evidence uncovered in the continuing search of a Port Coquitlam, B.C., pig farm owned by Robert Pickton, RCMP Const. Catherine Galliford said Sunday.

Pickton, 53, is facing 15 charges of first-degree murder in connection with a long list of women, most of whom disappeared from a seedy stroll area favoured by the hookers in the rough-and-tumble Downtown Eastside over the past two decades.

The new search site in Mission, about 65 kilometres east of Vancouver, was announced at a news conference called by the missing women's joint task force.

The site is located in a high-traffic area adjacent to the Lougheed Highway.

It is not known how long the search will take. Neither Galliford nor police spokeswoman Det. Const. Sheila Sullivan would disclose details of what investigators will be looking for at the site.

Galliford said the search warrant was served on a member of the First Nations band that owns the land.

The search site is about 350 metres long and 50 metres wide and consists mainly of wetlands, a slough and ground cover, the task force said.

CKNW National News

 

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

Updated: August 21, 2016