‘Beautiful’ Cindy joins tragic list

Another family dealt grim news on eve of Pickton hearing

Suzanne Fournier
The Province

Friday, January 10, 2003

On the eve of the preliminary hearing for accused serial killer Robert Pickton, another family has been told DNA of a relative has been found at Pickton's Port Coquitlam pig farm.

Family photo shows Cindy Feliks and daughter Theresa. Feliks is believed to be one of the victims in the Port Coquitlam pig farm murders.

The Calgary stepmother of Cindy Feliks, who disappeared in 1997, says the Vancouver police-RCMP Joint Missing Women's Task Force has confirmed that Feliks' DNA has been found at the Pickton farm.

Feliks, who would be 48, was last seen in 1997. Her name wasn't added to the missing-women list for four years.

Marilyn Kraft, who raised Feliks from the time she was five, says her stepdaughter was a "beautiful girl" who battled drug addiction for years but left behind a loving family, including a daughter, Theresa, and three grandchildren.

Kraft is angry that the police won't give her details about what they found or release Cindy's remains for burial.

"Cindy was into drugs and she was a prostitute, but she was still my daughter . . . and a human being," says Kraft.

(Robert) Pickton

Kraft said police first told her about Feliks' DNA in early December but has stonewalled her since then.

The preliminary hearing for Pickton, 53, who is charged with the first-degree murder of 15 of the 61 women missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, will start Monday as planned. It could continue through until fall.

The "first block" of court time, running Jan. 13 to May 1, will deal mainly with the admissibility of key evidence.

Crown counsel Michael Petrie told Port Coquitlam provincial court judge David Stone yesterday that more time will likely have to be scheduled to finish Pickton's preliminary.

Outside the court, Petrie said he didn't know if the hearing would run through the summer or take a break and resume in autumn. "We on the Crown side are certainly pleased to get the case going," said Petrie.

The hearing will determine whether there is enough evidence to require Pickton to stand trial.

But a trial in the case, which would be held in B.C. Supreme Court, is unlikely to start before early 2004.

Pickton lawyer Marilyn Sandford advised the court yesterday that funding for Pickton's defence is finally in place, after months of talks between the defence and the B.C. attorney general's ministry.

Pickton's lead lawyer, Peter Ritchie, will step aside to allow lawyer Adrian Brooks to lead Pickton's defence Monday.

Sandford added that she does not think Pickton's preliminary hearing will be unusually lengthy.

No murder charge has been laid against Pickton in connection with Feliks' death, leading to speculation that prosecutors don't plan to lay any more murder charges against him while the preliminary hearing is under way.

The Campbell River parents of Marnie Frey, who also disappeared in 1997, were told by police in mid-December that a death certificate could be issued for their daughter because her remains had been found at the Pickton farm.

But to date no charges have been laid in connection with the death of Frey.

Crown counsel spokesman Geoffrey Gaul has said he won't "speculate" whether new evidence from the ongoing police search will lead to additional murder charges against Pickton. 

© Copyright 2003 The Province

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Updated: August 21, 2016