Hog-farm search could take year

Investigation bringing results, police say, as team works on B.C. missing-women case

Thursday, March 21, 2002 

VANCOUVER -- Police expect to spend at least another year searching a suburban hog farm for clues and evidence in the case of 50 women missing from the city's drug-ravaged Downtown Eastside.

When they began their search on Feb. 6, investigators had talked of spending weeks or months at the family-owned, 10-hectare site.

But the search is producing results, Vancouver Police Detective Scott Driemel said yesterday.

Police have charged Robert (Willy) Pickton, an owner of the Port Coquitlam hog farm, with two counts of first-degree murder.

More search results will be disclosed "in the very near future," Det. Driemel said.

Up to a dozen police officers are searching the farm, while more than 80 detectives, officers and forensic specialists are involved in the overall investigation.

Det. Driemel lashed out at recent news stories about the case and demands for a probe into the police response to early reports that sex-trade workers were disappearing. Two prominent former members of the Vancouver force are among those urging an inquiry.

"We have a lot of people doing a lot of armchair quarterbacking, who might have political issues, an agenda or personal axes to grind," Det. Driemel said. "When . . . the investigation is over, that's the time for a review."

Constable Cate Galliford of the RCMP pointed out that police are shining a light "onto a part of our society that traditionally lies in the very dark shadows. . . . There are very gruesome stories out there.

She added that much in the news media about the case is not true and could lead to false conclusions. She would not be specific.

Gina Houston, a friend of Mr. Pickton, said this week that she is a "strong suspect."

Asked about the report, Constable Galliford replied: "We have not in the past and we will not comment on any specific individuals in this case." She said that there are from 70 to more than 200 possible suspects.

Bad Date: The Lost Girls of Vancouver's Low Track-Nov 2001



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

Updated: August 21, 2016