VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Missing women list reaches 50
Wednesday, January 16, 2002
Members of the RCMP-Vancouver police missing-women task force have added to their investigation five more women who have disappeared from the Downtown Eastside.
That brings the total to 50, and Constable Catherine Galliford, who speaks for the task force, says the number may climb.
Galliford said Tuesday the team is reviewing all missing-persons cases.
"Those reviews are going on every day," Galliford said. "There is every possibility we may see more women added as time goes on."
Of the five women, three went missing last year, including one in October and one in November:
- Mona Lee Wilson, who would be turning 27 today, was last seen Nov. 23 and reported missing a week later.
- Dianne Rosemary Rock, born Sept. 2, 1967, disappeared Oct. 19 and was reported missing to the Vancouver police on Dec. 13.
- Heather Kathleen Bottomley, 25, was reported missing April 17, the same day she was last seen.
Two older cases among the five new ones:
-Rebecca Louisa Guno was reported missing three days after she was last seen in June, 1983. She was 23 at the time.
- Elaine Phyllis Dumba was reported missing in 1998, although she disappeared in 1989.
"These additional five women have a history in the sex trade. They also have a history working in the Downtown Eastside, so they do match the profile we are looking for," Galliford said.
She added that the task force is working closely with agencies in the Downtown Eastside to ensure women working in that area remain vigilant and watch out for one another.
Vancouver police, who started the missing-women investigation three years ago when the number was thought to be 31, had been criticized earlier by some family members for not publicizing the disappearances soon enough, possibly missing out on the freshest leads.
But Galliford said the joint forces team is working to get the names publicized as soon as possible.
"We are really trying to get the names of the missing women out there as fast as we can," Galliford said. "We also are trying to get the photos of these women out there as quickly as we can."
Police have speculated that the high number of disappearances could mean a serial killer is preying on sex trade workers in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Last month, the task force officially increased the number of missing women to 45, two months after a Vancouver Sun investigation found the numbers were higher than police had indicated publicly.
Galliford said Tuesday investigators will begin narrowing down their suspect list of "hundreds" after compiling a data base with all the names and particulars. She said the team is still trying to determine the movements of Seattle area resident Gary Leon Ridgway, charged last month in the deaths of four women who were among the 49 deaths and disappearances attributed to the Green River killer in the 1980s. Most of those women were prostitutes, runaways or hitch-hikers.
Anyone with information on the Vancouver disappearances should call the Missing Women Tip Line at 1-877-687-3377.
© Copyright2002 Vancouver Sun
Updated: January 01, 2007