VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Sister says found DNA is not proof of death
Monday, June 30, 2003
Kelly Prado believes her sister is still alive, even though the missing woman's DNA has been found at the Port Coquitlam pig farm owned by Robert (Willy) Pickton.
Family members say DNA from Tiffany Drew has been found at the Pickton farm in Port Coquitlam, but her sister believes Tiffany is still alive.
The Washington state woman consented to a brief interview to refute media reports that the remains of her sister, Tiffany Drew, were discovered by RCMP investigators at the notorious pig farm that has become Canada's largest crime scene investigation.
Prado said the family had in fact just been told by police that DNA of Drew's was recovered from the farm and identified.
There's no proof that she is dead, just that she was there," said Prado, who holds out hope her sister will be found alive.
"Other people have been there too."
A cousin of the missing woman earlier told The Vancouver Sun that Drew's remains had been found, but Prado said that is not accurate.
And given that the existence of DNA alone does not mean someone has been killed, Prado refuses to accept that Drew is dead.
"Until they can prove to me that she's dead and there is a death certificate, nothing's confirmed," Prado said.
Pickton, 53, has been charged with 15 counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of women who were on a list of dozens missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in recent years. Most were working in the sex trade and struggling with addiction.
Drew, a tiny woman with blond hair and blue eyes, was last seen on New Year's Eve, 1999. She was reported missing Feb. 8, 2002 -- three days after police executed a search warrant at Pickton's farm.
Prado said the family received the information about the DNA match some months back.
She doesn't want the public to assume her sister is dead.
RCMP are not commenting when families of the missing women get notification of remains or DNA being discovered.
In addition to Prado's family, at least four others have also been told about forensic links between their loved ones and the Port Coquitlam farm, even though charges have not been laid in connection with those discoveries.
"We have an obligation to share certain information with the families, but that obligation does not extend to the public and the media," RCMP Constable Catherine Galliford, of the missing women's task force, said earlier.
Pickton's preliminary hearing began in February and continued for three months before an eight-week adjournment. It is scheduled to resume June 30. A trial is not expected to begin for at least a year.
Pickton has been in custody since February 2002, when he was charged with the murders of Sereena Abbotsway and Mona Wilson.
Since then, an additional 13 charges have been laid in the deaths of Diane Rock, Jacquilene McDonell, Heather Bottomley, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Wolfe, Jennifer Furminger, Helen Hallmark, Patricia Johnson, Georgina Papin, Heather Chinnock, Tanya Holyk, Sherry Irving and Inga Hall.
© Copyright 2003 Vancouver Sun
Updated: January 01, 2007