More officers join missing women probe, Task force grows to 30 in bid to
solve mystery of 50 missing females
The Vancouver Sun
Thursday, January 17, 2002
The task force probing the disappearance of 50 women from Vancouver's
Downtown Eastside has expanded to 30 investigators, RCMP Constable Catherine
Galliford said Wednesday.
Galliford said 12 additional officers have come both from the RCMP and
the Vancouver police department this month to assist with the huge work load
of the task force, which announced this week an additional five women have
been added to the list of those missing.
"We have an incredible amount of work to do right now with the file
reviews and the gathering of information with regard to potential suspects,
as well as needing resources to send downtown and interview the women who
work in the sex trade in the Downtown Eastside and the people who frequent
the area," Galliford said. "So those are the things that we really
need to focus on right now and that is how we are going to use these
Galliford said investigators received several tips Wednesday after
releasing details of the disappearances of Mona Lee Wilson, last seen in
November, Dianne Rosemary Rock, who disappeared in October, Heather Kathleen
Bottomley, reported missing last April, as well as Rebecca Louisa Guno, last
seen in June 1983 and Elaine Phyllis Dumba, who disappeared in 1989, but was
reported missing in 1998.
"They have received numerous tips and we are encouraging anyone with
information about them to contact us," Galliford said.
The number for the Missing Women Tip Line is 1-877-687-3377.
Police have said in recent years they fear a serial killer may be preying
on the vulnerable women of the Downtown Eastside,
many of whom work the streets to support a drug habit.
Meanwhile, a former teacher of Mona Lee Wilson said the young woman was
hoping to turn her life around when she took a course about four years ago
to help troubled young people find work.
"I was just so shocked to see in the paper today that she is now one
of the missing girls," Joanna Lundy said. "It is just
Lundy said Wilson was beautiful when she knew her and did not have the
facial scars visible in the most recent photo of her released by police.
"She always wore pink lipstick," Lundy said. "She was very
bubbly -- kind of like a little girl."
Lundy recalled that Wilson struggled to overcome a troubled past that
included abuse. She was already living in the Downtown Eastside and was in
the sex trade when she was in the program Lundy taught at a neighbourhood
house in east Vancouver.
"Really, the odds were against her," Lundy said. "I
remember her talking about having nightmares."