Missing women’s families to meet police

Police officers have found 'certain things'

Kim Bolan
Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

The joint Vancouver Police-RCMP Missing Women's Task Force will meet next Sunday with families of the dozens of women who have disappeared from the Downtown Eastside in recent years.

The foster mother of one of the missing women said police have asked families for detailed information about clothing or personal items that may have belonged to their loved ones.

"They have found certain things and they want to see where it belongs," said Anna Draayers, the foster mother of Sereena Abotsway.

"As I understand it, investigators who are on the farm will be there, too, so hopefully we will get some answers."

It will be the first time such a meeting has been called since investigators from the missing women's task force began a massive police search of a Port Coquitlam pig farm Feb. 5.

One of the farm's owners, Robert William Pickton, has been charged with two counts of first degree murder in connection with the deaths of Abotsway, 29, and Mona Wilson, 26. Both went missing last year and were added to the list of women in recent months.

Draayers said the waiting is difficult, even though in the case of her foster daughter, charges have been laid. She said the families generally understand that police are limited in what they can tell them.

"On one hand, we would like answers. On the other hand, we know what police are saying and what they are doing and we just have to wait for that," Draayers said.

The task force has held two previous meetings with the families. The first was in September at a Richmond hotel.

The second was in November at the RCMP's Surrey satellite office, out of which the task force is based.

RCMP Constable Catherine Galliford, who speaks for the task force, said the meeting was originally scheduled for March 23, but has been moved up in light of the Port Coquitlam developments.

"Just if they have any questions or concerns then we will be available and they will be able to address those concerns to us," Galliford said of the families.

She also confirmed the families have been given a list of information that investigators are asking the relatives to provide.

Galliford said the missing women case will get additional coverage on the U.S. program America's Most Wanted, which first did a segment on it in 1999, when Vancouver police offered a $100,000 reward.

American producers for the show were doing interviews in Vancouver Monday.

Draayers said her family will hold a memorial service for Sereena Abotsway at noon March 11 at Holy Rosary Cathedral in downtown Vancouver. 

© Copyright  2002 Vancouver Sun

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Updated: August 21, 2016