Friday, August 9, 2002
By PETER SMITH, CALGARY SUN
Cops searching for the remains of 63 missing
women have found the DNA of a one-time Calgary exotic dancer on a Port
Coquitlam, B.C., pig farm, says her close friend.
Sarah deVries, 29, became one of the best known of the 63 missing Vancouver
women after her friend Wayne Leng took her 1998 disappearance to media
His personal campaign to find her, spearheaded by a website devoted to all of
the missing women, was the catalyst which eventually helped spark a massive
Officers from the Missing Women Task Force visited Sarah's sister Maggie on
Tuesday to tell her they had found her sister's DNA on an object at the pig
"Maggie called me to tell me the news, and I knew from the tone of her voice
what she was about to tell me," said Leng, who lives in the U.S.
Police confirmed to Maggie the DNA matched Sarah's, but said they didn't have
enough evidence to charge pig farmer Robert William Pickton, 52, with her
Pickton has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in relation to
seven of the 63 missing women who all disappeared from Vancouver's drug-infested
"I believe Sarah was murdered out there on the pig farm, and in a strange way it
is a little better to know what happened, rather than not knowing all these
years," said Leng.
Sarah, who once was an exotic dancer in a Calgary nightclub before moving to
Vancouver, became a heroin addict.
She made a rare television documentary, allowing cameras to film her in a
drug-induced haze shooting up her next fix.
Her gruesome description of her lifestyle was so sickening, she is credited with
turning many potential drug-abusers away from the deadly way of life.
Staring into the camera with faraway eyes, Sarah ends the documentary
prophetically, saying there were only three ways off Vancouver streets.
"You go to jail, you do a life sentence here, or you end up dead," she said.
Leng and Maggie's purpose in keeping the spotlight on Sarah for four years was
to let people know she was more than a prostitute.
"She was a mother, a sister, a friend, a rounded human being, in the same way
all these missing women should be considered," said Leng.
He recalled one of Sarah's happiest moments was discovering, after she had
contracted HIV, that she hadn't passed it on to her son, Ben, who is being cared
for by family members along with his sister Jeanie.