VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Search for Angela Jardine and other missing women continues
by Bobbie Saga
Elk Valley Miner - April 27/00
The mystery of more than two dozen women missing from Vancouver's downtown Eastside still hangs in the salt air over the port city as much as speculation with respect to their whereabouts.
Theories run from the possibility of a serial killer on the loose to bodies being dumped in the Pacific. But none of it matters much to family and friends of the women who have been disappearing from the streets of Vancouver for the last few years.
Of those families Deborah Jardine says she, like others close to the missing women, just want to know what happened to her daughter Angela who left her home in Sparwood several years ago and went missing from Vancouver's Eastside November 20, 1998.
" It's difficult because there's no closure", Jardine said. Every time we hear something it brings it up again. We just want to know what happened to her ".
The year before last, cases of women listed as suspicious disappearances from the tiny district centered on Hastings St. began to mount on the Vancouver Police Department's books.
The missing women all worked the streets of the seedy little downtown district noted for its illicit nightlife, prostitution, high levels of HIV cases and drug over doses.
Then last summer after the numbers on the VPD's official list rose to 31 and public pressure to get answers mounted, the BC Attorney General's office in cooperation with the City of Vancouver announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to resolution of cases. This was quickly followed by an announcement the VPD was establishing a dedicated work group to weed out information on the mysterious disappearances and close files.
The reward is set to expire May 1, but since the announcements, 27 cases remain unresolved while four have been closed.
The working group established two women, Linda Jean Coombes and Karen Smith are dead. The other two, Patricia Gay and Rose Ann Jansen, are alive.
Janice Williams, media liaison with the VPD says although they cannot determine what happened to the 27 other women, the group of investigators is checking every possible avenue.
" They just don't have any information," Williams said.
As to the speculation, Williams says the VPD is not ruling out anything.
" It would be naive of us to say there isn't a serial killer and it would be naive for us to say there is. There are no bodies. There's no evidence, " she said.
Williams adds, however, the investigation is active pursuing every possible lead, including searching medical records.
" The investigators, there's a dedicated group and investigation is ongoing," she said.
Jardine says she is relieved the VPD has closed four cases, but it is little comfort to her as she waits with little hope she will see her daughter alive.
" I feel very strongly that Angela has passed on," she said, adding " She would have phoned us or something".
CASE FINALLY BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY -con't from page 1
But Jardine, who lodged a formal complaint late last year against the VPD for " neglect of duty " in handling her daughter's case, is pleased the VPD has stepped up the investigation during the past year.
Jardine says although nothing came of the complaint she filed, at least the VPD is working towards getting answers about the disappearances.
" I'm glad the VPD is finally taking this seriously and going through records, " she said.
" There's hope there are other women that will be found ".
Updated: August 21, 2016