Woman's remains found in valley
News comes as police allege a 'serial
killer' is preying on sex workers
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
A grieving aunt says the skeletal remains of her niece, a missing woman from
Surrey, have been found in the Fraser Valley -- where police allege a "serial
killer" is preying on sex-trade workers.
Michelle Choiniere was involved in prostitution
and drug use, a profile similar to that of three women who have been linked to
accused serial killer Davey Mato Butorac. However, it is not clear whether the
RCMP is investigating him in connection with Choiniere.
After Butorac was charged with two murders last week, RCMP Cpl. Dale Carr said
the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team was "looking at him linked to other
Carr said Tuesday he didn't recall Choiniere being among the files IHIT was
reviewing for the Butorac probe, but added it would be standard for
investigators to check for any similarities.
"That name hasn't surfaced to my knowledge as an interest in the Butorac case,"
"However, we'll certainly look at it as a possibility to see if there were links
because we are open to any and all possibilities," Carr said.
Choiniere's aunt told The Sun Tuesday that bones found in an undisclosed
location in the Fraser Valley on Dec. 7 have been confirmed as belonging to the
Although the RCMP announced Choiniere was missing in the fall of 2005, no news
release was issued to indicate her remains had been found.
Carr said Tuesday he was unable to reach the lead investigator on the file to
confirm the information provided to the The Sun by Choiniere's aunt.
The B.C. Coroner's Service and the Surrey RCMP detachment deferred all questions
about Choiniere to IHIT.
After receiving the stunning news about the bones being found, Monica Choiniere
said she contacted a coroner and a pathologist involved in the file who
indicated her niece's identification was made through teeth found at the scene.
The discovery of the remains explained where Michelle was, but not what happened
"It's tragic, it's terrible. The last two years have been hell on everybody,"
said Monica Choiniere. "[Michelle] was loved. She had a mother and relatives who
loved her to bits."
Monica said she's wondered about a possible connection between her niece and
Butorac since his arrest.
Butorac, a longtime Fraser Valley resident, was charged Jan. 7 with slaying
Surrey sex-trade workers Gwendolyn Lawton and Sheryl Koroll, and is under
investigation for the death of Margaret Redford.
Lawton was found last March on a gravel road in rural Abbotsford, Koroll was
discovered July 7 in an industrial area in Langley and Redford's body was found
in May 2006 in an Aldergrove creek.
Like Michelle Choiniere, all three used drugs.
Monica Choiniere always hoped Michelle would come home one day. Although that
won't happen, she wants families of other missing women to know at least some of
her questions have finally been answered.
"I wanted to give families some hope that she was found, that there is hope,"
A memorial service was held Jan. 7 in Michelle's mother's hometown of Rivers
Inlet, a community on B.C.'s Central Coast.
Monica raised Michelle for part of her youth, as the young girl's parents had
their own struggles in life. Michelle's mother is native and is from Rivers
Inlet, while her father [Monica's brother] is Caucasian.
Michelle, who had a younger brother and sister, grew up in Burnaby and went to
"When she was young, she was a giggler," Monica recalled. "She always wanted to
be in the fashion industry, she was always big with trying new things with her
hair and her makeup... She was looking forward to one day having children."
However, Michelle was protective of her mother, who eventually became addicted
to drugs and worked in the sex trade in Vancouver. Michelle would also be pulled
into that world.
Monica's last contact with Michelle was in the summer of 2005, when plans were
made to bring the 24-year-old to a treatment centre in the Okanagan.
"She wanted to get out of that life... She said, 'If I don't come up there, then
I don't know what will happen to me,'" said Monica, who lives in the Okanagan.
"But when the day came I was to pick her up at her apartment, she had
disappeared. I couldn't find her, the police couldn't find her."
Michelle was reported missing a few weeks later, and for the last two years
Monica has spoken to sex-trade workers in Vancouver and Surrey, as well as
checked missing persons websites, to try to find any information.
In a posting on one website, Monica wrote: "My dear Michelle, where are you? Do
you remember when I would take you to Stanley Park in your pretty pink dress and
feed the squirrels? Remember how we would sit at a coffee shop sipping chocolate
milk from fancy glasses and seeing who could make the most bubbles?"
© The Vancouver Sun 2008
From Monica Choiniere, January 14, 2008
My dear niece Michelle missing since Sept. 2005 was located in December 2007 in
the lower mainland. A tribute to her life was shared in Rivers Inlet by all her
family on January 7, 2008. She is dearly missed and now at peace. Monica
Michelle Caroline Choiniere
Name: monica choiniere
Sent: Thu April 06 2006 10:52 PM
Vancouver Missing Guestbook 2001 - 2006
My Michelle, my dear Michelle, where are you? Do you remember when I would take
you to Stanley Park in your pretty pink dress and feed the Squirrels? Remember
how we would sit at a coffee shop sipping chocolate milk from fancy glasses and
seeing who could make the most bubbles? To me you are my beautiful little niece,
so full of smiles after a full day falling asleep as we watched a silly movie. I
would brush your blonde hair away from your forward as you were always so warm
when you slept, sometimes you would pat my hand, others times you would whisper
something . I never could hear what you would whisper and now I would give my
life to have you whisper it. How I wish I could protect you and brush the hair
away from your forehead, just to watch you sleep - God , what would that take?
What can I give to bring my Michelle back to me? I have given you buckets of
tears, screams of anguish, a million prayers, please take me to where she is , I
need to hear her whisper.
I love you Michelle Caroline Choiniere, I miss you.
V A N C O U V E R M I S S I N G - G U E S T B O O K - 2001 - 2006 - 2 visits
- Jan 11
I love you Michelle Caroline Choiniere, I miss you. ..... My Niece - Michelle
Choiniere - birthdate Aug/81 has been missing for one month in the ...
MISSING - Michelle Caroline Choiniere