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Horrific tragedy lies in the dates

Pig farm alarms raised in 1998


August 12, 2002

The enormity of what police fear took place on a Port Coquitlam, B.C., pig farm where human remains of missing women are found almost daily, is almost too gruesome to contemplate.

Sarah deVries

But the true horror isn't at all conveyed by the overall statistics.

They're bad -- at least 63 women missing, pig farmer Robert Pickton, 52, charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, 80 cops still hunting and 50 archeology students digging up the pig farm, and more human remains surfacing all the time.

But the truly frightening story behind the headlines lies in the tiniest details of just one case.

Mostly it's the dates that tell the story.

Sarah deVries, 29, was a mother of two, and one-time exotic dancer in Calgary, whose life took some plummeting downturns after she became a heroin addict in the sex trade on Vancouver's grimmest red-light street corners.


She disappeared and would have been just another drug-addict prostitute face on a poster of 30 missing women, had it not been for her close friend Wayne Leng.

He was determined to find her and the other missing women, and launched a campaign to find Sarah, which sadly ended this week when he learned the latest DNA on the pig farm was matched to his missing friend.

That's all as bad as it can be.

But when Wayne studied the tiny details of vital dates in the case, the true horror of it all is revealed.

It starts on April 8, 1997, when Sarah is working Vancouver's streets and is alive and well.

In early 1998, with the numbers of missing women mounting alarm, several people pass more tips to the police about the pig farm after reports of women's clothing and identification being seen strewn around the farm.

But police do nothing.

And then on April 14, 1998, Sarah disappears, snatched into the night.


And now, four years later, all that remains of her, some of her DNA smeared on some object police haven't revealed, has been found in the depths of the pig farm.

Wayne knows exactly the full horror of the details of the dates.

That Sarah was alive and well in 1997 and then Sarah was taken a year later.

When it was at least four years too late, in 2002, the police finally search the pig farm and find her remains.

Like the friends and family members of many of the murdered and missing women, he can only muse over what would have happened if police had acted differently back in 1997 and early 1998.

DNA linked to Sarah deVries-Aug 9, 2002

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Updated: August 21, 2016