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Missing women investigation tops $10 million

Canadian Press

Tuesday, August 6, 2002

VANCOUVER The investigation into whether a serial killer has been stalking and killing women in the city's tough downtown eastside has already topped $10 million and the costs will climb higher, says the province's solicitor general.

Rich Coleman said Tuesday the provincial government is paying for the probe through a special contingency fund, but British Columbia will likely ask the federal government for help with the increasing costs.

"I can tell you it's more than $10 (million) and over the long haul it will certainly be in the millions of dollars," Coleman said.

"We're committed to do the investigation in its entirety, however long it takes."

Robert Pickton has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.

The victims are among at least 54 women the Vancouver police have officially designated as missing since the early 1980s.

Last month, police said they were investigating the disappearances of another nine women who fit the same profile _ women involved in the sex and drug trades in the neighbourhood considered one of Canada's poorest. Those nine may be added to the official list.

The investigation began with two investigators in 1998 and has escalated to include an investigative team of 85 officers and 50 specially trained bone experts.

Pickton, 52, was first charged in February. The suburban pig farm Pickton worked with his brother and some surrounding properties his family owns have become Canada's largest-ever crime scene investigation.

Police have found human remains at the Pickton farm.

Investigators are also reviewing hundreds of unsolved missing women cases from across the country.

Pickton's preliminary hearing is expected to begin in November.

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Updated: August 21, 2016