VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Women's friends apprehensive
By ROBERT MATAS
With a report from Graeme Smith
VANCOUVER -- Family and friends of Vancouver's 50 missing women are waiting apprehensively this weekend to hear more after police announced that Port Coquitlam resident Robert Pickton was arrested for the murder of two of the women, all of whom were prostitutes.
"It's a relief, but we know it's not the end," Raven Bowen, agency co-ordinator for Prostitution Alternatives Counselling and Education Society, said in an interview.
Women on the street will not feel that much safer, she said. Some will be relieved, "but there are still 48 [missing] and someone else could still be out there."
Family members of the missing women wanted to know what police had found on the Pickton farm and whether any links to their family members were discovered. They also wanted to know why police made the arrest shortly after saying their probe would continue for weeks and possibly months longer.
"I'm surprised, big time," Lynn Frey, the stepmother of Marnie Frey, said last night.
"I didn't think it would happen so fast. I had assumed it would take them a while if they were to come up with something."
Marnie Frey, who disappeared in August, 1997, was 25 years old when she was last seen.
The police contacted Lynn Frey about 4:30 p.m. yesterday to tell her that someone was being held in custody. However, they did not release Mr. Pickton's name until more than three hours later, after all the families of the missing women had been contacted.
Police would not provide much information about the arrest. However, they did confirm that they had not found any links to her stepdaughter, Ms. Frey said.
The Frey family told the police in 1999 about information they had heard about the Pickton farm but, as far as they knew, the police didn't follow up then on their report.
Both families and friends also expressed gratitude for the effort by police in recent months. "We're pleased to hear that something has been done," Ms. Bowen said. Many women who normally stay as far away as possible from police came forward to provide information, she said.
Ernie Crey's sister Dawn, 43, has been missing for 15 months.
"They told us they would let us know everything on Monday [when Mr. Pickton appears in court]," Mr. Crey said last night.
The Crey family was one of more than 20 who provided DNA to police to help them with their investigation. However, police would not tell Mr. Crey last night whether they had found any links to his sister.
Mr. Crey said he reminds himself that many families have been waiting for five, 10 and 15 years for news of their missing relatives. "I've been waiting 15 months. I guess I can wait a bit longer."
Brenda Guno, whose cousin Rebecca Guno is among the missing women, reacted happily when she heard about the charges.
"That's great," Ms. Guno, 57, said by telephone from her home in Terrace, B.C. Her family will be relieved, she said, after waiting anxiously for news from the investigation in Port Coquitlam.
Updated: August 21, 2016