Statement read by Lori-Ann Ellis

October 25, 2011

I would like to start by thanking Wayne Leng he was the first person who helped our family when we were seeking answers. He has kept his vancouver missing web site going offering advice to all who seek it.

I would also like to thank Cameron Ward and Neil Chantler who were the very first people I have met that were willing to stand up and help us. They were willing to the help make the Vancouver police department and the RCMP be accountable and help the truth to be known.

I would like to offer my apologize to my children. I am sorry that in order to find the truth about their Aunty Cara I stole time from you. I can not give that time back to you. That is one of my deepest regrets. To my children I say I am very sorry.

This from my diary entry from

November 12 2010...

Today I prepare to close another chapter in the trial. I am going to meet with

Owen Court the coroner and he is going to hand over the remains of Cara. That

sounds so final. Remains. Yesterday I took some time and made a bag out of

cotton. The pattern was pink and had a print of a mother and baby on it. I have

eaten slept and dreamed of bringing Cara home and now that the moment has

arrived it seems surreal. I am going to be taking the small pink bag empty and

full only of Vancouver's salty air. And bring home the only small remaining part

of the person who used to be Cara Ellis. A life cut short by a madman. He lived

his life in muck and mire and picked off one life at a time only stopping when he

was caught. The small piece of bone that I will be carrying home to her Mothers

arms is smaller than a baby finger nail. The memories are something that Pickton

can not steal from us but he took the rest. We remember her as she laughed

cried and loved. He remembers her as she fought for her life a battle she lost. In

those last moments what was she thinking. Was she remembering her Mom or

Dad and Brothers? Did she think she would win against this crazy man. Did she

pray to God? Did she ask for his help. When she knew her earthly time was over

did she lay in the loving arms of her heavenly father. As her life slipped away did

she think that no-one would ever find her. She died all alone fighting for her

every breath and all who loved her were far away. We went on we went about

our day. We had no way of knowing what had happened. Cara died at the hands

of this killer he stripped of her clothes and treated her as nothing but meat. She

was nothing to Pickton she was just another body. When he was finished with

her he threw her away and went on to the next girl.

He has no remorse for what he has done. He went on living every day like the

last in the filth of the farm until he felt the need to take another life. The poor

girls did not see it coming. And so I sit here and I prepare to go and start the

first step of Cara's journey home. I will place the urn in the cotton bag. I will tie

it closed with loving hands. I will pause and remember. I will remember the life

that was lost. I will remember all that could have been. I will morn. I will pray for

her soul. And then I will cry yet again. I will remember all the tears I have shed

before. I will let them flow. I will hold her to my heart and I will start to say

goodbye. Many years ago I promised my husband I would find his sister and

today I am going to bring her home. I will carry her with pride. I sit here now

and I have a heavy heart. when you love you love with all yourself. You open

your heart and let your love have wings. You shower your love upon the person

and hope it will come back to you. I did that with Cara I opened myself to her. I

prayed that we could be friends. I hoped she would trust me. From that short

time we were first together until now the love I felt was one sided. She was

unable to build our relationship because she was taken. She was taken much to

young. She loved so many things. She loved cheese cake she loved calamari she

loved the color yellow. And she loved her family. She adored her brothers. They

were older but when they were together she was the boss. She called the shots.

She loved them with all her heart. To see her was to know that. She may have

kept secrets from the family but one thing she could not hide was her love.

I still cannot believe that she is gone. I think today when I hold her in my hands

I will understand. I will feel her life force in my embrace and all will be well.

There are so many families who will not know this feeling. Pickton was so careful

to dispose of any evidence that this person walked this earth. I remember at the

trial they kept saying he was slow. Just a pig farmer. A slow person would not

take the care that he did to hide his crimes. A person like that planned what he

was going to do. He hunted these women stocked them really. He worked his

way into the lives of these women. He became a fixture to the downtown east

side. It was normal to see him in their zone. These girls had rules they set for

them selves. They knew that every day could be their last. They knew that even

though they had to do deplorable things for that next fix they had to be careful.

They had regular guys they would go with. They had a comfort zone. As long as

things went well they were able to stay in their comfort zone. There were

however times when they got sick. Not just the flu or a cold like you or me. They

got drug sick. They would shiver and puke they would ache to their very soul.

They needed a fix and were now willing to do anything to get it. They would step

out of their comfort zone and take chances they would not normally take. They

would make bad choices. They would go on dates that were to say the least

risky. When they were not sick they would never think to go out with bad dates.

When the drug sickness hit they would take their chances. The bad date list is

out there the girls know it the cops know it. But the list means nothing when you

are sick. Just enough to take the edge off. Just one more hit and then I will be


I have said this many times you take the drugs to be able to do the next trick

and do the next trick to be able to do the drugs.

I remember the first time that I saw Hastings. I was really not prepared for what

I saw. As the bus rounded the corner I saw sadness. I was looking for Cara and

was well prepared to jump off the bus if I saw her. I remember seeing sleeping

bags on the ground up by the buildings. There were people sleeping in them.

The sidewalks were littered with small pieces of paper. There were people

leaning against the walls. They were dirty and poor and looked very sad. I did

not want to over react when I saw this squalor. I had my children with me and

did not want them to see me so disappointed with Vancouver. How could a

country like Canada a proud nation like ours allow this to happen. As the bus

moved along the street I could not take my eyes of the sidewalks as they slipped

by I knew these people had all started off with their families. They had made

twists and turns in their life that had brought them here. You could see drug

dealers working right under the noses of the police. The police in Vancouver

downtown eastside had gotten tired. They had gotten tired of the filth and crime.

The sob stories and the death. They see the people when they are lowest. They

see them at their worst. they don't see them as they were at 7-8-9 at birthday

parties. they don't see them at the prom. They don't see the children they left be

behind. They see anger depression. They see despair and longing. The loss of

spirit is a great loss. The people on the DTES are sad. They have given their

lives over to a power a force so big it envelopes every fibre of their being. The

drugs they crave are real it will take away their pain. It will numb them for even

a few minutes. The drugs they take are just a small pause a small moment when

they do not have to feel the pain loss and hurt...

It can be a dark and dismal place. I always thought Vancouver was a great

place to visit yet when you look closer it is a city with many dark corners. You

can live the high life here you can live the dream. But you can live in decay and

squalor as well. The people who live in higher class neighborhoods seem to have

it all beauty money a house on a hill. The houses look welcoming they look like a

home. They call to you and yet the flip side of the coin is Hastings. A side walk,

an alley, a doorway. We all live in different kinds of homes. We take it for

granted that it will always be there for us. When the day is over and we head

from our workplace we have a destination. We can go home. We have a warm

bed. We have a door we can lock to close out the world. We can close things out

or close ourselves in. But we are home. For some of the people in Hastings a

doorway is home. They have a blanket if they are lucky they can curl up and

sleep a cold lonely sleep. They never make the mistake of sleeping soundly

because to do so is dangerous. You can never sleep deeply because at any

moment something could happen. You have to be ready for whatever life hands

you. You do not have a kitchen to cook a warm meal. Or a washroom to clean

yourself or do your business. You have to make do.

You eat at WISH or one of the kitchens in the area. You shower at the church.

Thank God for WISH and places like it,it is a home for many of the girls. They

can shower there or eat put on there makeup. Maybe find a change of clothes

from the donations. For many of the girls this is their only home. Here they are

safe from harm. They can come to this place and relax they can let down their

guard. They can let life just happen. When they walk out the door it is very

different story. They have to have eyes on the back of their heads. There is

always some one worse off then you are. They want what you have and will do

anything to get it. The girls of Hastings are protective of what they have because

they have so little.

.... I am home now and my heart is racing I know that I have in a bag the

remains of my Husbands Sister. I know that I will have to give this bag to a

Mother knowing this is all that is left of her daughter. It is so final to place this

urn in the hands of her mother. A life that you bring into the world and this is all

there is left. A tear comes into my eye as I place this pink bag in the hands of

her Mother. There is nothing left to say. All over the country this story is being

repeated oh the names are different but the story is the same. The police could

have done more a lot more to stop this. We all put our faith in them and they let

us down over and over. When the truth is told the world will know that they

dropped the ball. The world will know that they did not do their job. The world

will know our pain the world will know the girls story the world will know the

truth. The world will know we were lied to mistreated mislead and manipulated.

We know the real story and finally the world will listen to what we will say what

we needed to say for so long. I have little faith that the police and RCMP will tell

the truth. Why will they tell the truth they have so much to hide. Shame on them

for all they did and shame on them for all they could have done and instead

turned the other way. Lives were lost that could have been saved. Lives were

ended that should have carried on. If there is to be answers in this inquiry the

truth needs to be told. A truth we know because we lived it. A truth the women

that were murdered deserve. A truth we carry in our hearts and a truth that died

with our loved ones. I keep thinking how the police made themselves sound so

big and important when they arrested Pickton. In fact they just stumbled into

this murderer. While they were sitting in an office shuffling paper work and

making lists an informant was looking for a deal and lead them by the nose to

Pickton. Sure they took their bows and had their moment in the lime light but

the truth is they did not find Pickton they tripped over him because someone told

them where to look. Sure they did interviews and restructured themselves many

times. They did not find Pickton he was handed to them on a silver platter. I feel

the inquiry will do its best to seek the truth but in the end I am sure this time we

spend today and all we have done to get the truth will be lost. Things will not

change. Hastings doorways will not sit empty. Drugs will still be dispensed by

dealers like human pez dispensers. The johns will still drive the streets looking

for a quick release and the sex trade workers will turn their next trick. The sun

will rise and fall and the police will turn there gaze away from what needs to be

looked at the most. Shame on all that looked the other way when we needed

them the most. The police must know they are the last hope for us and they

looked the other way shame shame shame if they carried even half our pain they

would have done their jobs. To all that helped us thank you to all who looked

away..... well I hope you never ever have to know our pain.... I hope you never

have to depend on someone the way we depended on you....I hope maybe they

will listen to you.... no I hope things will change and me wishing bad things on

you make me just as bad and sad as you are and that would be wrong so


what should we learn from all this?

Listen take the families seriously.Don't write these girls off. Tell the truth learn

from this if we don't learn from this nothing will change. Learn you can be wrong

and correct things. Learn to not make a second group of victims by victimizing

the families as well. Treat those seeking answers with respect. We put our trust

in you and you let us down. Learn from this and maybe just maybe things can

change and move foreword. If we stay with the all boys club the police have

become and stay cloistered in your all blue uniform world sitting above everyone

things will never get better. Try dropping to your knee to lend a hand or give

some hope if not you are no better than Robert Pickton who took lives and the

predators who still remain on your streets stalking the women who need your

help more than ever. Take a step toward change admit your errors and learn

from them. We could not possibly think any less of you than we do right now.



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

Updated: August 21, 2016