Vancouver cops find missing woman-Dec.17,1999
Courtesy The Vancouver Province, Friday, December 17, 1999
By: Jason Proctor, Staff Reporter
Members of a task force trying to find more than two
dozen women missing from Vancouver's downtown east side enjoyed a rare victory
yesterday with news that one of their mysteries has been solved.
A hit on one of thousands of Canadian databases provided a medical
record. And with a phone call, investigators were able to locate Patricia Gay
Perkins -- missing since 1978.
"She is alive and well and living in Canada," said Const.
Anne Drennan. "She does not want anybody to know where she lives."
The discovery reduces to 28 the number of women whose whereabouts
are being probed by police in an investigation that includes a $100,000 reward
for information leading to an arrest.
The case has received international attention, including a segment
on the syndicated TV show America's Most Wanted.
Perkins is the third woman to be taken off the list, but the first
to be found alive. One of the other two women died of a drug overdose. Another
died of a disease contracted through intravenous drug abuse.
All of the missing woman worked in the downtown east side sex
trade, and many were addicted to drugs. Police speculate that one or more
killers may be at work.
But Drennan said Perkins' case illustrates the difficulties facing
the task force. Although last seen at age 22 in 1978, Perkins, now 43, wasn't
reported missing until 1996. She heard about the investigation and knew she was
on the list, but made no move to contact authorities.
"Where do you start looking?" said Drennan. "She
left in '78 for a new life. She apparently left a one-year-old son here and she
does have some family here -- but again no contact."
Drennan also noted that police have not added any new names to the
list in 1999 -- although they've responded -- and cleared -- many reports of
Police find woman missing for 21 years-Dec 17,1999