Unmatched pig-farm DNA expands probe

Greg Middleton
The Province

Monday, September 30, 2002

The family of a missing man say police have told them that the Missing Women's Task Force is widening its investigation to include all old missing persons cases in the Lower Mainland.

The family says officers have told them that much DNA recovered by the task force at a Port Coquitlam pig farm does not match that of any of the more than 60 women who have disappeared from the Downtown Eastside.

Jason O'Donaghey, a promising but troubled young carver who occasionally went drinking in the Downtown Eastside, was 19 when he disappeared in 1991.

Jason's aunt Jennifer Hopkins said a North Vancouver RCMP serious crime investigator told her last week: "Serious crime investigators throughout the Lower Mainland have been told to review all the missing person cases."

And Jason's brother Sean O'Donaghey said police have asked for a DNA sample from their parents.

He said he can't think how his brother could have ended up at the pig farm at the centre of the missing women investigation unless it was "to drink."

"But who knows?" O'Donaghey said.

Another aunt, Amy O'Donaghey, said Jason took nothing with him when he disappeared from a house he was sharing with friends on West 16th in North Vancouver.

"He just vanished," she said. "He didn't take his clothes or his carving tools. Police told us at the time that he probably just took off and didn't want any contact with us and that was his right."

The North Vancouver RCMP investigator involved in the case couldn't be reached for comment.

RCMP Const. Catherine Galliford of the Missing Women's Task Force would say only that the O'Donaghey investigation "is not part of the missing women's task force investigation."

RCMP spokesman Grant Learned said he knew nothing of a directive to reopen all Lower Mainland missing person's cases, but they are "periodically reviewed."

"And in the light of the advances in DNA technology, it would not be unreasonable for investigators to collect DNA samples for the DNA data bank."

 Copyright 2002 The Province



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Updated: August 21, 2016