Helen Mae Hallmark

missing since June 1997

Excerpt from APB News, New York

Families angry

Several relatives of the missing women have criticized the police in recent months, charging that lawmen were not taking the disappearances seriously.

Robert McClelland, whose stepdaughter is one of the missing prostitutes, told that he met with CPA and talked to the private eyes because he has been dissatisfied with the police investigation.

"I think the police have done what they can do, with what they had to work with, but not a lot extra," McClelland said. "Right from the beginning, people were saying their sisters or mothers were missing.

"I think CPA is doing this because they care. They can see the frustration of the families and the lack of what some of us felt was being done with the investigation here.

"There will be no closure for any of the families until they know what happened to their daughters, mothers and sisters," McClelland said. "I just believe that from the beginning, these women were not as important because of who they were and where they came from. That's my honest opinion. I don't feel attention was put on the case until the media got involved."

Stepdad in 'denial'

McClelland's stepdaughter, Helen Mae Hallmark, 32, has been missing since June 1997. She is described on her missing poster as a prostitute and drug addict who frequented the Downtown Eastside area, a poor neighborhood where all the women were last seen before they disappeared.

McClelland waited a year to report his stepdaughter missing, saying he was "in denial" that something happened to her. However, McClelland said that when he called the police he was given the "run-around," adding that it took days to file a missing person's report.

He also said that on two occasions, a Vancouver police investigator was supposed to meet with him about Hallmark, but didn't show up. A Vancouver police officer, McClelland said, eventually did meet with him about Hallmark.

"They always say that these women fell through the cracks," McClelland said. "They fell through a big hole."

Robert Anthony Phillips is an staff writer (

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

Updated: August 21, 2016