VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Remains at B.C. farm are local woman's sister
Mary Lane Gallagher, The Bellingham Herald
Friday, June 13, 2003
A Whatcom County woman is waiting to hear whether a British Columbia pig farmer already accused of murdering 15 women will also be charged with killing her sister.
SEEKING ANSWERS: Kelly Prado holds a flyer about her missing sister last year. PETE KENDALL-HERALD FILE
Kelly Prado, 30, still holds hope that her younger sister, Tiffany Louise Drew, is alive even though Canadian authorities have told her that Drew's DNA was found at the Port Coquitlam pig farm at the center of the largest serial killer investigation in Canadian history.
"My dad thinks she's gone, but I'm probably just in denial - maybe she was there and she left, you know?" said Prado, who lives with her husband and three children north of Bellingham.
Drew is among 61 women who have disappeared from the streets of Vancouver, B.C., since 1983. Canadian authorities have charged Robert Pickton with murdering 15 of the women and are scouring Pickton's Port Coquitlam property for clues to the other women's fate.
Prado said Canadian prosecutors plan to ask a judge to add Drew's name to the list of slain women.
A spokeswoman for the Joint Missing Women Task Force, staffed by Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Vancouver Police Department, was unavailable for comment.
Prado said she has mixed feelings about whether she wants to see Pickton charged with her sister's murder.
"I'm still not totally convinced she did die there," she said. "But if they're convinced enough, maybe I am in denial."
Prado grew up with Drew in Port Alberni and Nanaimo, B.C. She said her younger sister was a pretty girl with a lively sense of humor, but grew into a troubled young woman hooked on drugs.
"She started getting into drugs and I started hearing from her less and less," Prado said last spring.
Drew moved to Vancouver, B.C., and became a prostitute to support her heroin habit, Prado said. Drew turned up missing in December 1999.
Prado later went to Vancouver to find her sister, showing prostitutes and drug addicts in the city's seedier areas a picture of her sister as a healthy, happy new mother. No one recognized her.
But they did recognize Drew's sad-eyed, drawn face in the photo of her ID card found in a Vancouver crack house. That time, it was Prado who didn't recognize her sister's face.
Pickton's preliminary hearing adjourned April 23 and is scheduled to resume June 30. His trial isn't expected to begin for another year or so. Prado wants to attend.
She hopes people haven't forgotten about her sister and the other missing women.
"You don't hear anything about it anymore," she said of the case, which is under a publication ban in Canada. "No one really cares unless they're involved. Or, they did when it (first) happened, and now, it's kind of forgotten."
Reach Mary Lane Gallagher at email@example.com or call 715-2285.
Updated: January 01, 2007