VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Why No Reward? asks hooker's pal
He says cash offer might lead police to 21 missing women.
By: Frank Luba, Staff Reporter-The Province, Wednesday, March 31, 1999.
Wayne Leng is angry that missing women from Vancouver's downtown east side don't seem to be as important as home invasions or robberies.
Rewards of $100,000 are being offered to help catch home invaders and the thugs who rob drivers in their garages.
Leng wants to know why there's no reward for information about the 21 women who have disappeared from the downtown east side since 1995.
"I'm frustrated," said Leng, who has given up hope of finding his friend Sarah Jean deVries, the woman to whom his Web site at www.missingpeople.net is dedicated.
"For a long time we've wanted a reward and a task force. They keep putting it off. I'm angry about it. The families feel the same way, they want a reward.
"If they were offering the same sort of reward to find some of these missing women, the would get people talking.
He says rewards are offered to protect the wealthy, while people on the mean streets just have to look out for themselves.
DeVries was in the sex trade, used drugs and disappeared in April 1998.
Leng thinks she's dead.
"I think so," he said yesterday. "I really think so. Nothing else makes any sense now."
Police doubt a serial killer is active because there are no links in the cases.
But Leng says the missing women were all from the same area, worked in the sex trade and were drug users, and their bodies have not been found.
"Those are common links," he said.
A handful of prostitutes have signed on with a registry program, said Judy McQuire, manager of the Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society's needle-exchange program.
They fill out questionnaires detailing where they hang out, the agencies they visit and the names of their friends, partners and families.
Each participant gives DEYAS a password and is encouraged to check in once a week.
"If they go missing, we've got some sort of trail to follow," McGuire said.
A memorial service for deVries and the other missing women is planned for May 12.
Updated: August 21, 2016