VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Friends fondly recall woman believed slain
Missing woman's DNA discovered at pig farm
Thursday, September 19, 2002
Grieving friends of Georgina Faith Papin are hoping to hold a memorial service for the mother of five in the neighbourhood from which she vanished three years ago.
(Georgina Faith) Papin
The joint RCMP-Vancouver police missing women's task force visited Papin's brothers, Rick and George, in Alberta this week and confirmed that her DNA had been found at the Port Coquitlam pig farm that has been the subject of a massive police search since early this year.
Friends in the Downtown Eastside were devastated by the news Wednesday.
Elaine Allan, a former coordinator at a drop-in centre for sex trade workers, said Papin, who was 34 when she vanished, was extremely well-liked.
"We are definitely going to put together a memorial service for Georgina," Allan said Wednesday. "She was just so well-respected. People just always said the nicest things about Georgina -- she was fun, she was beautiful, she was kind, everyone loved her."
"From the time she went missing, everyone just talked about it because she was so popular," Allan said. "People always talked about her."
Rick Papin said this week that his sister struggled with a heroin addiction but was devoted to her children.
He said she could light up a room with her smile.
In an earlier interview with The Vancouver Sun, he said she had a troubled life growing up in Alberta. She bounced from foster homes, to group homes and to residential schools after she and her 10 siblings were taken away from their parents.
She started experimenting with drugs and prostitution when she was about 11 years old.
In her early 20s Papin moved to Las Vegas, where she had a baby girl and got married. She worked in a restaurant during the day, but still worked the streets at night.
She returned to Canada in the 1990s, where she had four more children and fell into a vicious cycle of drugs, prostitution, violence and prison terms.
Rick Papin said the last time he visited his sister was in February 1999, when she was living with her boyfriend in Mission.
She was last seen on March 2, 1999 when she was dropped off by a family member at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre on East Hastings.
Another former sex trade worker named Terry, who asked not to have her last name used, knew Papin for 20 years, in Edmonton and Vancouver.
Terry worked on the same corner as Georgina, at Cordova and Jackson, until just before she went missing.
"I knew she was gone," Terry said Wednesday. "She was a creature of habit. She had a routine. You knew where she was going to be."
Terry was so devastated by the news Wednesday that she had to visit her doctor for help.
"We were in jail together. We had our babies around the same time together," Terry said. "She would always make you laugh. You always said something stupid to make you laugh."
Terry met with investigators of the missing women task force several months ago to provide what information she had about Papin and other women who went missing.
After years on the street in Edmonton, Terry and Papin met each other again about five years ago when both were working in the sex trade in the Downtown Eastside.
"I can't believe this happened. She was so street smart," Terry said. "She was strong."
© Copyright 2002 Vancouver Sun
Updated: January 01, 2007