More officers join missing women probe, Task force grows to 30 in bid to solve mystery of 50 missing females

The Vancouver Sun
Kim Bolan

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 resources."

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 heartbreaking."

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."

Police add 5 more women to list-Jan 15, 2002



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

Updated: August 21, 2016