VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Complaint to Police Complaint Commissioner
Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
July 28, 1999
Re: Missing Person - Angela Jardine
Police File # 98.286097
To Acting Chief Constable
This letter is to inform you that I am lodging a complaint under the Police Act.
I am the mother of Angela Jardine. My daughter has been missing since November 20, 1998 from the downtown Eastside of Vancouver.
As a result of her disappearance I find it necessary to complain due to the following circumstances which have taken place over the past several months involving the Vancouver City Police Missing Persons Dept.
The complaints are as follows:
Neglect of duty & poor service:
No communication from the VPD when our daughter disappeared November 20,1998 -June 17,1999.
My husband and I were never notified by phone or letter by the VPD regarding our daughterís disappearance.
When I finally located the person in charge I inquired the reason for not contacting us and he told me it was because Angela is an adult.
Angelaís last given caseworker was not interviewed.
Angelaís caseworker informed me as of March 16/99 she had not had a formal interview conducted by either of the two detectives.
Close friends of Angelaís were not interviewed.
The belongings of our daughter were not examined.
Angelaís room had not been inspected.
January 20/99 I phoned the detective and requested a copy of the police missing person poster of our daughter.
He told me he had not gotten around to making one up yet.
I suggested to the detective I had a recent photo of Angela that was taken Nov.10/98 to use. He insisted he had one somewhere on file.
February 1/99 I called the detective and requested a copy of the missing person poster. The posters were made after I called him on Jan.20/99. He informed me there had been sightings of Angela in the downtown eastside, one at Victory Square and another at a soup kitchen.
February 5/99 I called the detective. I received the missing person posters. The photo was outdated and a poor likeness of Angela.
February 8/99 The detective returned my call. I requested current posters of Angela with her recent photo. He agreed to this. I sent the photo on this day by priority post.
The detective informed me there have been several more sightings of Angela.
March 3/99 I phoned the detective. He told me there are more sightings of Angela. I informed the detective there is another young woman that looks a lot like my daughter. This person is the one everyone keeps mistaking for Angela. I mentioned to the detective that Mark Townsend of the Portland Hotel where Angela resided is knowledgeable about this individual. I asked him if the posters had been updated. He told me no, he had not done them.
March 8/99 I phoned the detective and asked if the posters were done. He told me he hadnít gotten around to getting his secretary to do them up yet.
I asked him if there have been any information regarding the numerous sightings of Angela. He asked me which ones. I mentioned the police sightings, the soup kitchen, all of the ones from the downtown area he continues to tell me about. I asked the detective if he has interviewed anyone close to Angela to rule out misleading sightings. He asked me, like who? I told him Mark Townsend from the Portland Hotel where Angela lived. He asked me Mark who? He told me he isnít good remembering last names. I asked if he interviewed Liz Evans from the Portland yet? The detective told me his partner had already interviewed her. I asked him if Angelaís (caseworker ) had been interviewed. She had an extremely close relationship with Angela. He told me yes, several interviews have been done.
During this conversation I asked the detective if Angela was entered into the RCMP ViCLAS database system. He became very annoyed with me and told me if it werenít for all of these sightings everything wouldnít keep getting put on hold. I mentioned the person who resembles Angela, and informed the detective both girls chummed around together, they frequented the same spots.
I asked the detective if I produce this individual would you then take my daughterís disappearance seriously? The detective became extremely irritated with me and demanded I tell him how I would proceed to do this.
(Part B has the detectiveís comments to this conversation)
The same conversation I ask again when the detective entered our daughter into the RCMP ViCLAS database.
(Part B has his comments to this question)
March 19/99 I called the female detective, the other detective was unavailable. I recently found out the name, address, and phone number of the person that resembles Angela and I phoned to offer this information to the detectives.
This detective told me they had already spoke to this woman. She told me this girl looks similar to Angela, but doesnít know how people would mistake the two of them.
During this conversation I inquired if Angelaís dental records had been requested by the police yet. I felt this was a vital part of information extremely pertinent for the investigation. She told me she was sure her partner put in his report to request the file already.
(I had located Angelaís dentist after many long distance phone calls and spoke to Angelaís dentist personally).
The dentist gave me the last appointment date and when x-rays were last taken of Angela. He did mention to me the police have not phoned or contacted him. I gave the name and phone number of this dentist to the female detective.
(Part B has comments during this conversation regarding this detective).
March 22/99 I phoned the detective if there had been any news concerning all of the sightings. He told me you wonít believe this but there are more sightings. I asked him if he had contacted the woman that looks so much like Angela. He told me he just found out about her on Thursday. His partner told me on March 19/99 they had talked to this woman. I asked the detective if Angelaís dental records were requisitioned by the VPD yet. He told me no, he just found out about it today.
April 13/99 I phoned the detective if there was any news about the continual sightings of Angela and left a message.
April 14/99 The detective returned my call. He told me there is another sighting of Angela. I asked him if Angela had any distinguishable marks on her body. He told me only track marks on her arms and legs, and started laughing that everything about Angela is distinguishable. I informed the detective Angelaís caseworker has on file that Angela has a tattoo of the North Star with the initials A.G. on her left shoulder, and she has a bad burn scar above her ankle. The detective told me he had interviewed the caseworker March 8/99.
I was treated as an impartial party.
Our daughterís case was treated with a nonchalant attitude.
The behavior of the detectives was often discourteous and belligerent.
Their personal beliefs swayed their judgment.
Each time I would speak to the detectives I was met with resistance.
I did have important information to share with them, and was treated with hostility.
I have been reprimanded by the detectives for not keeping them informed of my activities.
Example: March 19/99 approx. 1:15pm I was told by the female detective that I donít keep them informed of what I am doing. I told her I didnít realize I had to call her also. I told her I phone her partner, I didnít realize I had to call her also. I presumed her partner was in charge of Angelaís case, and I do keep in touch even though I could not afford long distance calls.
The behavior of the male detective has been intimidating.
This conversation is in Part A -Example March 8/99 10am I felt I had to be condescending to him as he threatened to drop the case. This conversation was in regard to finding the girl that looked like Angela. He had implied I was withholding information as I wouldnít tell him whom I was going to call to find out who and where this girl was. I told the detective I had no idea as I live almost in Alberta, but I will call and make calls until I found someone to help me find this girl to eliminate her from all of these sightings.
This detective started yelling at me to " take the case, take all the cases" , you wonít tell me who youíre talking to, then you do it all yourself". It was during this conversation I felt it was necessary to console the detective by telling him I realize the heavy caseload you must have, how overworked and frustrated you must feel. I was trying to calm him down. I asked him to please try to put himself in my situation and I conveyed my feelings of having a daughter disappear.
March 8/99 - 10am same conversation I asked the detective after he calmed down if he had entered Angela into the RCMP ViCLAS database system yet. He became extremely annoyed at me again and told me if it werenít for all of these sightings everything wouldnít keep getting put on hold. It was at this point when he became extremely disturbed by this question and began yelling at me " You donít know much about it, There is No Set Time Limit, Do You Understand, No Set Time". He told me he gave the report to the person in charge of handling that back in Dec 8/98 and he had no idea what happened to it after that.
June 17/99 2-3 p.m. The female detective phoned me. This was the first time a call was initiated by the VPD to us. She informed me there would be a general information meeting on June24/99 at 10am. She told me she was extending me a courtesy to designate someone I trust to represent me at the meeting. It was too far for me to travel for a general meeting. She recommended someone she knew to represent me, but I declined, as this person is a stranger to me. I informed her I would contact Mark Townsend to represent me. I trust him, heís dependable, and has been supportive during these past few months. She informed me this would not be possible. I was surprised and asked her the reason for her objection to Mark. She told me she didnít approve of him, nor did the other families. I did not want to be argumentative and let it go. I had another friend in Vancouver I was sure would represent me.
June18/ 99 I faxed a proxy of authorization for Wayne Leng to represent me at the general meeting.
June 22/99 11am I called the female detective and left a message. I was phoning to inform her Wayne Leng would represent me at the meeting.
She returned my call June 22/99 3:20pm approx. She informed me Wayne Leng was not suitable either, and not allowed to attend the meeting. She informed me my proxy has no legal weight. I didnít know why legalities were involved with a general information meeting. I asked her if Mark Townsend could attend. She told me she respects Mark as a person, but disagrees with his political agenda. I told her I donít understand what that has to do with it. She told me, " I told you already itís only for families and I was extending you a common courtesy to select someone." She said to me, " you donít want Sarah". I told her I havenít a clue as to who this Sarah person is and she isnít family either. To me she is a total stranger.
The detective became notably irritated by the conversation and told be she should have known better than to call me about the meeting, because itís obviously apples and oranges to me. She told me she doesnít mean to be confrontational and get in a big argument over this. I said, " unfortunately you have been."
I later found out this detective allowed a UBC student to attend the meeting. This person was not family either.
I do not understand this double standard issue.
I would like to close by saying I am a secondary victim. I do not want to be treated as an impartial party. I am a mother searching for her daughter. The natural instinct for a mother is to find out what happened to her child. To make sure every venue of action has been taken to locate her child. This is an emotionally trying time for our family dealing with the loss of our daughter. The depth of emotional pain is unbearable at times.
It is our sad belief our daughter is dead.
This is a situation I would not wish upon anyone. It is extremely difficult to cope each day without having problems with a police dept. to contend with.
At this time I am asking for a " Full and reasonable response " regarding the nature of my complaints. I would like each of my complaints investigated and please respond to me on each of these complaints. I am also requesting when and if Angelaís body is found that the Vancouver Police Dept. notify us in person.
I look forward to a reply concerning these matters.
Reply to Chief Constable on dismissal of complaint
Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
Suite 900, 1111 Melville Street
Vancouver Police Dept.
Re: Missing Person - Angela Jardine
Police File 98.286097
To Acting Chief Constable xxxx
This letter is in regard to a complaint I filed July 28, 1999 that was Summarily Dismissed November 3, 1999 in which I received by registered mail November 8/99.
Under subsection 54 (4) of the BC Police Act the complainant may reapply for a review of the decision..
I am requesting a review of my complaint. I am dissatisfied with the decision and find the response is inadequate.
The complaint that I make raises issues in my view that fall within the definition of a breach of " Public Trust Default ". It is defined in the BC Code of Professional Conduct Regulations as: " disciplinary defaults " under 4 (b) Neglect of Duty for the purposes of section 4 (1) (b), a police officer commits the disciplinary default of neglect of duty if :
( ii ) perform his or her duties as a police officer.
I feel this officer did not do a proper or thorough investigation. It appears this officer did not exercise his discretion in response to do a timely investigation. I believe there was not a reasonable investigation conducted regarding our daughter Angela Jardine.
Attached are copies of my complaint and the response letter. I have numbered each paragraph of the response letter in order. I have addressed each of the concerns I am not satisfied with.
The missing persons report by Angelaís social worker, was received by the Missing Persons Section December 7/98. The caseworker would not have filed a missing person report unless she was certain something happened to our daughter. One phone call to Angelaís caseworker or any other caseworker at the Interministerial Society would have verified this. Even the secretary would have been able to enlighten the detective. It would have been enough information to warrant an investigation of the disappearance of our daughter. This was neglected to be done.
There are many discrepancies to this paragraph. It states " that day the sergeant told the detective that he had seen Angela on the front steps of the police department within the last two weeks. The last two weeks of what month? Was it November? Then this is accurate. The caseworker and others can verify this was the last time Angela was seen or heard from was near the end of November 98. This is the reason the 911 call was placed by the staff at the Portland Hotel. One call to the staff at the Portland Hotel would have verified discrepancies. The staff at the Portland Hotel were extremely concerned about Angelaís disappearance and placed the 911 call.
In the same paragraph it mentions Angelaís caseworker advised the detective she had seen Angela four days ago. Four days ago of what month? Is it November or December? We know for a fact it wasnít December as the caseworker filed a report Dec.7/98 to the Missing Persons Section. My daughter Angela gave Social Services permission if anything should happen to her I be notified. I was notified by the caseworker the second week of December 1998. She phoned and told me " as a parent I have the right to know something has happened to my daughter".
In this paragraph it states the sergeant told the detective that he had seen Angela again on December 15/98 outside the police station. The detective based his opinion our daughter was still in the vicinity from this observation. Even though the person Angela was closest to was her caseworker and she had not seen or heard of Angela since the end of Nov.98. The detective also assumed there was no cause to phone the caseworker or the staff at the Portland Hotel to verify Angelaís disappearance. The detective conclusions appear to be assumptions of an individual ( the sergeant ) whom may have been in a hurry or not really paying attention and saw a person resembling our daughter. Based on this, the detective did not exercise his discretion to conduct an investigation. From this statement the detective concluded not to bother to pursue the investigation of our daughter, nor notify me of her disappearance because of a casual sighting by a colleague.
The detective says he maintained regular contact with the Portland Hotel and Social Services to determine if Angela had returned or picked up any money.
I would like to challenge this entire statement by the detective. I feel it is not accurate nor factual. The people who manage the Portland Hotel ( Mark Townsend and Liz Evans ) do not recall having any contact with this detective. Liz Evans does not know what he looks like or how his voice sounds. Mark Townsend has no recollection of meeting or discussing Angela with this detective. I would like to know how a detective conducts an investigation without interviewing pertinent people such as, Mark Townsend, Liz Evans or Angelaís caseworker? I am aware of the female detective going to the Portland Hotel for the first time in late February /99. This was long after Angela had disappeared. This person was not her partner.
As for keeping in regular contact with social services the detective would have had to check with the St.James social services through which Angelaís welfare money was administered through. If the detective would have done this he would have known Angela collected no money past November 20/98. This was extremely odd for Angela not to receive her money. The caseworkers would have verified this fact.
The caseworker did not have an interview with any detectives regarding Angela prior of March 16/99. She has informed me on several occasions the last time she saw Angela was the near the end of November,1998. These are very important people in Angelaís life that may have been able to shed light on Angelaís disappearance.
The detective states that he did not personally inspect Angelaís room or belongings.
The detective indicates that the Portland Hotel staff had been through the room and did not find anything amiss or anything to indicate where Angela might be. This is another statement I wish to challenge. The staff at the Portland Hotel do not recall having any contact with this detective. How was he able to arrive at this conclusion? This matter was discussed with the female detective upon her visit to the Portland Hotel as I mentioned in my last paragraph late in February/99.
The staff at the Portland Hotel are not professional people trained in criminal scenes or investigations. How would they know what is amiss or what is not? How would they conclude there wasnít anything in the room to indicate where Angela might be? These are all very reasonable questions that have not been answered satisfactorily.
There was some delay in issuing the missing persons posters. There was a delay in Angelaís poster because of the reported sightings. The sightings were all of another person. Anyone familiar with our daughter knew it was not her. A reputable constable and many others were aware it was not our daughter roaming the downtown eastside. Thankfully, this constable was very open and directed me to the person who was in charge of our daughterís case. This was on January 19/99, and that individual was the detective in question. Once a new photo was received the posters were redone. After repeated phone calls from me reminding the detective about them.
In his duty report the detective indicates that there have been numerous sightings of Angela from people that are familiar with her and that all these sightings (where possible) were checked. I would like to know whom the detective considered a valuable source of information for these sightings? Other drug users, or people incapacitated in some way. Our daughter was very obvious because of her behavior and loud mannerisms. She could not be mistaken easily with people that actually knew her. I tried many times to convey my feelings to both detectives that there could well be other women that looked like Angela. Angela was a generic looking person, brown hair, brown eyes, 5í5í. How many women would fit this description? Why would these sightings delay an investigation of our daughter?
The detective denies ever telling you to " take the cases, take all the cases..."
I heard what I heard. I cannot dispute this fact. It is noted in my records.
In the female detectiveís duty report she indicates that you were difficult to deal with and she only learned of your dissatisfaction third hand. When she called you February 25/99 she says you indicated that you did not have a problem with the investigation. Regarding the conversation Feb.25/99 the female detective returned my call. As to my notes the conversation began with the subject of a man portraying himself as my daughterís stepfather and requesting her belongings from the Portland Hotel. I obtained this information from Mark Townsend. Mark had mentioned this man had assaulted Angela, and was prohibited from the Portland Hotel because of his abusive nature. This was all very shocking to me as the detective never informed me of this information. He gave me the manís name and phone number. This individual had contacted me on several occasions about Angela that had been rather upsetting. I mentioned my concern regarding the phone calls from this man to the constable from the downtown eastside.
This was also the first time I had spoken to this female detective and she was very cordial. Referring to my notes the conversation entailed the following: the female detective offered me the names of several family members for me to contact if I wished. She mentioned it may be premature to mention this to you but Maggie DeVries is planning a memorial service in May for the women that have gone missing or have died in the Eastside. I also inquired if a new missing person poster was made yet. She wasnít sure as it was her partnerís case. She informed me that they are just about finishing compiling all the missing women on a web site to be put on the internet. I asked her the web address, she wasnít sure of the address. She informed me of a newspaper article Lindsay Kynes of the Vancouver Sun had written, and it would be in the following day newspaper. She also pointed out to me it was her partnerís case. I did not feel comfortable talking to her about someone she worked with and the lack of investigation to place her in an awkward position.
My next conversation with the female detective was March 19/99 approx. 1:15pm. This conversation we discussed Serena Abbotsway. I called to inform her I found Serenaís location and phone number for the police to look at Serenaís face. This was the woman people had been mistaking for Angela since she disappeared. I was told by her " regardless what I might think, we are doing our job". We know youíre being very critical of her partnerís work. She also mentioned she doesnít know what I expect, you donít keep us informed, everyone is aware youíre not happy, youíre talking to the media about us. I informed her I havenít been speaking to the media lately and Iím not being overly critical of the work being done. Iím a concerned parent and I want to know what has happened to my daughter. I asked her if Angelaís dental records were requisitioned by the police yet. She told me she was sure her partner was on top of it. I spoke previously to Angelaís dentist March 19/99 approx.10:20am and he had not received any calls pertaining to Angelaís dental records. The female detective asked me if Angelaís dentist was in Sparwood. I gave her the name and phone number of the dentist in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver. I also informed her the date of Angelaís last examination and x-ray. If offering information is considered being difficult and asking reasonable questions is perceived as difficult then I do not understand the terminology.
The female detective says she called you on June 17/99 to discuss the meeting of the families of the missing women and that you were unable to attend. She suggested that Sarah Levine attend in your absence, you disagreed and wanted Mark Townsend. The reason I did not want Sarah Levine at the meeting was because she is a stranger. Sarah Levine is a casual worker at the Portland Hotel. She happened to be on shift the day the 911 call was made. It was decided Sarah Levine make the call. I have never had any conversations with Sarah Levine. She was a stranger and still is a stranger. Just because this individual placed a 911 call does not make her a friend, or family member. She then told me she did not want Mark Townsend at the meeting. I asked why and she told me because she finds him very difficult to deal with and I know the other family members feel the same way. I found this remark as bewildering as how would the other family members know Mark? I let it go, I did not argue or was disrespectful as to why Mark was not able to attend. This was also a cordial phone call. It was a stressful time and I did not want an argument. I am able to make available a tape of this conversation if needed.
The female detective indicates she spoke to you about the meeting sometime around June 22/99 in which she advised you that the meeting was by invitation only and the proxy you sent had no legal weight. She states " the quotation Mrs. Jardine attributes to me is in no way accurate". She returned my call June 22/99 approx. 3:20pm. I am able to make available a tape of this particular conversation.
The female detective met the UBC student you refer to in your letter at the meeting. This person is a student at UBC doing research for a thesis concerning the missing women. This individual is not a common-law partner. This was said to gain entry into the meeting.
I would like to know why my question regarding the delay of entry of Angelaís data into the RCMP ViCLAS was not responded to? The Vancouver Police Department Internal Policy is sixty days for a detective to report to ViCLAS. Why was this not done until March 4/99? By coincidence Angela was entered into ViCLAS the following day after the Vancouver Sun newspaper had a large poster of all the missing women from the downtown Eastside. It is also the responsibility of the detective in charge of the case to fill out the ViCLAS book and not give it to some else to fill out.
I would like to say because I am the only person that has filed a complaint is completely and totally irrelevant.
In conclusion the preliminary investigation did not adequately address all my concerns that I raised in my initial complaint. Given the seriousness of my complaint I feel it merits a full and thorough investigation.
Note: I applied for a review of my complaint December 1/99 after it was summarily dismissed November 3/99 by the Internal Investigation Section. I was notified in the letter I had thirty days to request a review of the decision. I applied again and it was rejected faster than the first letter of dismissal. I exhausted the complaint process. The only other alternative would be to seek legal counsel. That would entail an extremely costly and lengthy litigation against the Vancouver Police Department.
Updated: August 21, 2016