VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Bodies match missing-women profiles
Task force looks at prostitutes' cases
Tuesday, January 8, 2002
All three women whose bodies have been found dumped in remote areas in recent months were sex-trade workers in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, and a police task force probing the disappearance of 45 other women is looking into the deaths.
Constable Catherine Galliford, who speaks for the RCMP-Vancouver police missing women's task force, confirmed Monday it is working with Delta and Surrey police to investigate the cases.
"We are working closely with Delta police as well as Surrey RCMP," Galliford said, adding that the possibility all three met with foul play is part of the probe.
The Vancouver Sun has learned that the latest victim was Angie Williams, a tiny 31-year-old native woman who had struggled with a drug problem and worked off and on as a prostitute in the Downtown Eastside.
Williams' sister, Eliza Willier, confirmed Monday that a body found in an isolated part of south Surrey last month has been positively identified as her sister's.
No cause of death has been determined, but Willier believes her sister met with foul play.
"There is no bloody way my sister would be out in Surrey in the middle of nowhere. I know that. There is no way. She didn't own a car. She would not be out there," Willier said.
"I fear that this is all connected."
A few months before Williams was found dead, two other women, both 21-year-old sex-trade workers who were friends and worked in the Downtown Eastside, were dumped, overdosed and alive, in isolated parts of Delta. Both women later died.
Surrey RCMP Constable Tim Shields said Monday investigators there are working closely with and exchanging notes with Delta police, who are probing the deaths of Ry Rong on Sept. 3, and Lily Nuon, who was found June 24.
Shields said there is still nothing to suggest the deaths are murders and are connected, but all avenues are being investigated, especially given the larger missing-women case.
Rong had been featured in three pornographic films before her death and was not a heavy drug user, her former employer and close friend George Marion said Monday.
Marion, who runs Cyberexotica Multimedia on Vancouver's east side, said in the months he knew Rong, he never saw her use drugs and does not believe she was an addict who would have overdosed.
Marion is convinced Rong, whom he met last March and saw four days before her death in September, was murdered.
Marion said he knew Rong was not a heavy drug user because his performers had to take drug tests and all hers were clean.
He showed full-body nude photos of Rong to prove his point. "Does that look like someone who was on drugs?" he said of the attractive young woman with shoulder-length brown hair.
Marion said he only learned of Rong's fate from a Sun article last month, even though he had been calling Vancouver police to try to report her missing.
He has since met with two Delta police investigators.
In the case of Angie Williams, Willier said her sister made a frantic call to their aunt days before she was last seen Dec. 9, and showed up at the aunt's home distressed and fearing for her life.
"She was just bawling. She was crying and she was scared. She showed up at 3 o'clock in the morning," Willier said, adding her sister had apparently escaped from a house in Vancouver where she was being held against her will. "She feared for her life that night."
Within days, Williams had disappeared and her frantic family filed a report with Vancouver police and was putting up posters in the Downtown Eastside, unaware that Surrey RCMP had already found a body and was asking for help with identification.
"We found out from a person downtown who said that it sounded like the girl they found in Surrey," Willier said.
Willier said her family is devastated about the loss of the woman they called "an absolute angel," who was committed to beating a drug problem to regain custody of her children.
In the case of Rong's death, Marion said: "I can't accept that some scumbag just dumped her out there to die.
"Whoever it was could have just as easily dropped her off at Hastings and Gore and an ambulance could have taken care of her."
Marion said Rong knew Nuon and tried to bring her into the studio for a screen test. But he said Nuon was obviously a heavy drug user and not suitable for a porn film so he turned her down.
Nuon's body was found off Nordel Way by a worker with the highways ministry. Police know she was still alive when dumped because she was found clutching a branch at the scene.
Rong was found still breathing about 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 3 in the 4100-block of 104th Street, a rural spot near the dike beside Boundary Bay. She was rushed to hospital, where she later died.
Toxicology reports indicated both Rong and Nuon overdosed, though police said they treated the deaths as suspicious because neither of the women could have reached the spot where they were found on their own. No vehicles were found nearby in any of the three deaths.
Both Nuon and Rong were Cambodian. Rong came to Canada as a small child, eventually ending up in the foster system.
He said she was working in porn films to earn enough money to help her younger sister, who was also in a foster home in another province.
Marion said police have to do more to find out what happened to Rong, the other two dead women and the 45 who have disappeared without a trace.
"I feel the police are simply labelling these girls as disposable," Marion said.
Updated: August 21, 2016