She's focusing on the living

Daughter missing since '98

Thursday December 6, 2001
Andrew Bruce
The Guelph Mercury

GUELPH - A Guelph woman, whose daughter went missing from Vancouver's "low tracks" and was likely murdered several years ago, says she is too focused on the living to worry about who might have done the killing.

"Even if they catch the man who killed her, it doesn't bring her back," said Pat deVries, who is raising her daughter's two children in Guelph.

Many Questions Unanswered

Pat deVries and friend Wayne Leng look at a book called 'Bad Date' by Trevor Greene, which examines the disappearances of women involved in the Vancouver sex trade. DeVries says she's too busy caring for her grandchildren to get caught up in speculation about a possible link to the 'Green River Killer.'

Sarah deVries was one of more than 30 prostitutes who went missing in the last few years from a seedy, east-side area of Vancouver known as the "low tracks." Investigators are now looking at possible links between those disappearances and a man arrested across the border in Seattle for the murders of four women.

Police had blamed the deaths of the four women on the "Green River Killer," believed to be responsible for the killing of 49 women in the Pacific Northwestern U.S. almost two decades ago.

DeVries said she is too focused on "the living," caring for Sarah's two young children - the eldest is 10 - to get caught up in speculation that the arrested man, 52-year-old Gary Ridgway, is responsible for the deaths of missing Vancouver prostitutes.

Sarah deVries - Her mother is convinced she was murdered while working in Vancouver's sex trade.

DeVries said she is convinced that her daughter was murdered, but she isn't ready for anyone to find her body. She does want to see that happen eventually.

"But not today," she said.

Sarah, who was 29 when she disappeared in 1998, had become involved in prostitution to support a drug habit. Her story and the story of other women who have gone missing from the Vancouver sex trade is the subject of a new book, Bad Date, published by ECW Press. Author Trevor Greene looks at theories for the disappearances, involving murderous freighter crews and serial killers, and also accounts the terrible, out-of-control lives Sarah and the others were living.

Wayne Leng, a friend of Sarah long before she went missing, has been visiting deVries and her grandchildren in Guelph this week. Leng runs a Web site devoted to spreading information about the missing Vancouver sex trade workers. He spoke to Greene for his book, hoping it will also shed light on the women and their unhappy lives.

"I felt it would show the women in a human light," Leng told the Mercury.

DeVries is also concerned for the women who remain on the streets selling their bodies for drugs.

"These women are so vulnerable," she said.


Local mother awaits news as probe tightens-Feb 9, 2002

Missing women's friend keeps families informed via website-Feb 11, 2002 

Book chronicles disappearances-Nov 25, 2001
Profile of Sarah deVries-Dec 5, 2001
The Desperate Quest-April 12, 1999



Missing Women Tip Line: 1-877-687-3377

Updated: August 21, 2016