VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Police botched case:
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Michael Lands is demanding an investigation into the handling of his mom's disappearance by the Joint Missing Women Task Force.
Mary Florence Lands, 42, was among 67 women presumed missing from the Downtown Eastside and possibly slain by accused serial killer Robert Pickton.
Her family was told she was dead.
Last month, she surfaced in Cochin, Sask., where she has been living with a partner and unaware she was assumed missing.
In 2004, her daughter reported her missing and last heard from in 1991.
"The police didn't do their job on my mom's case," Michael Lands, 24, told The Province.
"They were totally lazy and just didn't care about her."
Michael Lands filed formal complaints with the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP last week. Yesterday, he met with members of the task force, but still has some unanswered questions.
The Lands family wants to know why Mary Florence wasn't found, since she's been collecting provincial disability cheques for 16 years and never changed her social insurance number or name.
In 2004, Saskatoon police even questioned and cleared her in a welfare-fraud case, Michael said.
Saskatoon police and Saskatchewan RCMP couldn't confirm to The Province that Lands was questioned.
RCMP Cpl. Tom Seaman said Lands was added to the list because she couldn't be located in government databases and she'd been involved in drugs, alcohol or prostitution.
The week before Lands contacted her family, her sister, Marie, received a letter from the Crime Victim Assistance Program stating she was granted the maximum $5,000 for pain and suffering related to her sister's supposed death.
It read: "The Missing Women's Task Force identified [Marie's] sister, [Mary Florence], as a victim of homicide."
Said Seaman: "We would have never confirmed that she was the victim of homicide unless we positively identified her."
Officials with the task force wouldn't comment further because Lands' complaint is under investigation.
Since the task force was launched in 2001, investigators have found more than 100 women thought to be missing. The number doesn't include women connected to Pickton.
© The Vancouver Province 2006
Updated: August 21, 2016