Family told daughter’s DNA found at farm

Island couple had pressed for investigation

Kim Bolan and Lindsay Kines
Vancouver Sun

Friday, November 22, 2002

A Campbell River family that for years called for a broader investigation into Vancouver's missing women has been told that DNA recovered at Robert William Pickton's farm has been identified as that of a relative.

Marnie Frey

Rick Frey said Thursday he was visited by the Vancouver Police-RCMP missing women task force last week and told that DNA from his daughter Marnie has been identified. She disappeared in August, 1997.

Frey said the family is struggling to deal with the news.

"It is really hard. When they came, we were all devastated," Frey said. "Are you happy that you got the news? I don't know."

Task force members Staff-Sergeant Don Adams and Sergeant Wayne Clary, both of the RCMP, arrived at his house with two other officers and two support workers, Frey said.

"Don did promise us when we were down in Vancouver if something came up, he said to me 'Rick, I will come up and see you personally,'" Frey said.

"We've got a big living room window here and you see the car lights flashing. . . . . It is really hard to say but when you have the hunch and everything points there and you have that gut feeling and when the knock does come on the door, I'll tell you, the jig's up."

Frey is still upset that more wasn't done earlier to investigate the disappearance of dozens of women from the Downtown Eastside.

"There is a lot of frustration and a lot of anger," he said. "We couldn't get anybody to listen to us. They wouldn't listen to what we were trying to say. That is the tough part. I am angry for them not listening. Five years of not listening."

But he also praised the current task force for its efforts. Since it began its search of Pickton's Port Coquitlam farm last February, 15 counts of first degree murder have been laid against the 53-year-old.

At least three other families, including Frey's, have been told DNA from relatives have been found at the farm.

No more charges are expected before Pickton's preliminary hearing begins Dec. 2.

Frey said he has had tremendous support from his friends in Campbell River. His best friend, long-time Mayor Jim Lornie, came over for coffee when he heard the news. Lornie had earlier written to Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen to call for more action in the missing women case.

When Frey's daughter disappeared, he got cards and letters.

"People know me of course and what I have been going through," Frey said.

He wants to remember his daughter as the cheerful child who loved animals and touched all those who met her.

"She was a happy-go-lucky kid," Frey recalled. "She was always joking about life."

"She liked animals. She just loved animals. We've got pictures of her with rabbits and all that. She loved all that stuff. She wouldn't hurt a fly. She was a great kid. She was at the Christian school."

She got hooked on drugs through an Asian gang in Campbell River.

"It is a terrible thing. It grabs a-hold of you and there is no letting up," he said.

Before long, Marnie was headed to the Downtown Eastside, where she got caught in the cycle of working the streets to support her addiction. She was reported missing to Campbell River RCMP the month of her 24th birthday .

"She was the out-of-town girl going to Vancouver. Well God, they are so vulnerable down there," Frey said. 

© Copyright  2002 Vancouver Sun

Courtesy of

Marnie Lee Frey

Mourners gather to remember one of Vancouver's missing women-Dec 7, 2002



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

Updated: August 21, 2016