Bone experts tour pig farm

This week they will begin their search for more human remains

Kim Bolan
Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Experts in the study of human bones got a tour Monday of the Port Coquitlam pig farm co-owned by Robert (Willy) Pickton and will begin searching the site later this week for more clues in the disappearance of dozens of women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

"A detailed forensic-archeological search of a 14-acre farm property will begin this week, possibly Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning," RCMP Constable Catherine Galliford said in a joint statement with Vancouver police Monday.

Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun

RCMP officer controls gate of Port Coquitlam farm search site.

"The search involves initial use of 26 scientific experts with formal training in human osteology, a sub-speciality of archeology. The 26 experts are part of a pool of about 50 upper-level students and graduates of the specialized field who have been selected to work at the site," said Galliford, a member of the missing women task force.

Police said the experts come from universities across Canada. The number of specialists at the site may still increase.

Police first began searching the property at 953 Dominion Ave. on Feb. 5.

Aboriginal leader Ernie Crey, whose sister Dawn is among the missing, said Monday that he was happy police are following through with their commitment to expand the search.

"I am encouraged that they've fulfilled their promise and hired the students with the requisite training to do the work that needs to be done," Crey said.

"It seems as though what they are looking for are small bits of bones or human remains."

Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun

Experts in the study of ;human bones are preparing to search a Port Coquitlam pig farm for murder evidence.

He said many families support doing as much excavation as possible, including underneath nearby homes built on land that was once part of the Pickton farm.

"Police have told us they will leave no stone unturned," Crey said, adding the families have also been reassured that money is no factor in the police investigation.

Galliford said the group went through "a basic orientation including an explanation of pay and benefits, the issuance of picture identification, reiteration of the absolute need for confidentiality, plus a physical tour of the work site."

Police have repeatedly stressed that all those working on the site, where evidence linked to the deaths of seven of the women has already been uncovered, have signed a non-disclosure statement and could be prosecuted if it is violated. They have also had criminal record checks done on their backgrounds.

"Over the next few days heavy equipment will also be brought on site that will serve as the source of work for the osteology specialists," she said.

"As previously stated, a soil screener is being brought on site as well as two, 50-foot, flat conveyor belts. In addition there are a rubber tire loader, an excavator and two tandem dump trucks being used in the search."

Pickton is due to appear in Port Coquitlam provincial court again next week. He has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jacqueline McDonell, who went missing in January 1999; Brenda Ann Wolfe, last seen in February 1999; Heather Bottomley, who went missing in April 2001; Andrea Joesbury, who was reported missing in June 2001; Sereena Abotsway, last seen in July 2001; Diane Rock, who vanished last October; and Mona Wilson, who was reported missing last November.

Police also said Monday that, because the case is before the courts, they will be releasing very little further information.

 Copyright  2002 Vancouver Sun

Courtesy of Vancouver Sun



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Updated: August 21, 2016