Missing Women Joint Task Force RCMP/VPD Media Briefing

Missing Women Joint Task Force
RCMP/VPD Media Briefing

Wednesday, October 6th , 2004 @ 13:00 hours
RCMP Headquarters, 5255 Heather St., Vancouver, B.C.

Today, the Missing Women Task Force is adding eight women to the official list of women whose disappearances are being investigated by the Task Force. The official list now stands at 69; this includes the 15 cases in which murder charges have been laid. In addition, today we want to introduce an updated poster featuring photographs of all of these women and make a public appeal for any information that may help in our investigation to find out what happened to them.

As you all know, the Missing Women Task Force has been focussed on the disappearances of women who fit a similar profile - that is, women who have ties to the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver or surrounding areas, and who have been involved in the sex trade or who had been known to use alcohol or drugs.

The Task Force has been working very hard over the last few years to get a complete picture of just how many women, who fit this profile, are missing. To this end, investigators have reviewed in excess of 220 missing persons cases from many police agencies in British Columbia, the North Western United States and across Canada. This includes older cases that pre-date the Task Force, many cases that have surfaced during Task Force operations and approximately 44 new reports that came in following a public appeal by the Task Force in January of this year.

You may recall that on January 27, 2004, the Missing Women Task Force made a public announcement that we had located three female DNA profiles on the farm property in Port Coquitlam that were unidentified. As we indicated at that time, we had reason to believe that these three DNA profiles belong to women who were missing but who had not yet been reported to police. We made an appeal to the public asking for them to come forward with the names of any loved ones who fit these criteria and many family and friends did so, however, at this point in our investigation the three DNA profiles remain unidentified.

Our reviews of all of these missing person cases have been methodical and thorough. In those cases where the missing women fit the Task Force profile, our investigators have undertaken further investigative steps, including checking various police and government databases, interviewing family and friends and in some cases, obtaining the womenís DNA profiles. Through this process, our investigators have successfully located approximately 88 women, some alive and well and living at various locations throughout the world and some who had passed away from various causes unrelated to our investigation. For all of those families, the Task Force has been able to provide some measure of closure. For other cases, we have determined that there is no connection between the missing women and our profile, and for those, jurisdiction has been left with the originating police agencies to continue with their missing person investigations.

This review process has revealed that eight women who have been missing for various lengths of time do fit the Task Force profile and the Missing Women Task Force has taken on those cases. The Task Force investigations into those disappearances are ongoing and today we are adding those women to our official list. The women being added today include the following:

A: Sharon Nora Jane ABRAHAM, born September 15, 1965 - Sharon was last seen in 2000; was reported missing in 2004. Sharon is described as Native, 5'6", 119 pounds, brown hair and brown eyes.

B: Sherry Linda BAKER, born November 28, 1968 - Sherry was last seen in 1993; was reported missing in 2004. Sherry is described as Caucasian, 160 cm, 125 pounds, grey hair and brown eyes.

C: Cara Louise ELLIS, born April 13, 1971 - Cara was last seen in 1997 when she was 25-years-old. She was reported missing in October of 2002. Cara is described as Caucasian, 4'11", 106 pounds with long brown hair and brown eyes. She also went by the name of Nicky Trimble.

4) Tammy Heather FAIRBAIRN, born June 17, 1971 - Tammy was last seen in 1998; was reported missing in 2004. Tammy is described as Caucasian, 162 cm, 105 pounds, brown hair and blue eyes.

5) Gloria Christine FEDYSHYN, born August 15, 1962 - Gloria was last seen in January 1993; when she was 27-years-old. She was reported missing in July 2002. Gloria is described as Caucasian, 5'3", 120 pounds, with blonde hair and brown eyes.

6) Mary Florence LANDS, born September 15, 1963 - Mary was last seen in 1991; was reported missing to Vancouver Police Department in 2004. Mary is described as Native, 170 cm, 129 pounds, brown hair and brown eyes.

7) Tania PETERSEN, born December 28, 1969 - Tania was last seen in 1998; and was reported missing to the Surrey RCMP Detachment in 2003. Tania is described as Caucasian, 5'2", 110 pounds, blonde hair and blue eyes.

8) Sharon Evelyn WARD, born June 7, 1967 - Sharon was last seen in February 1997 when she was 29-years-old. She was reported missing to the New Westminster Police Service the following month. Sharon is described as Caucasian, 5'4", 110 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Once again, the eight women who have been added to the list of missing women are Sharon ABRAHAM, Sherry BAKER, Cara ELLIS, Tammy FAIRBAIRN, Gloria FEDYSHYN, Mary LANDS, Tania PETERSEN and Sharon WARD.

Now the poster - This poster contains the pictures of 69 people whose disappearances are being investigated by the Missing Women Task Force. These pictures have been arranged chronologically, in the order in which the women disappeared - from the earliest at the top of the poster to the most recent at the bottom. The "date last seen" for each woman, as indicated on the poster, is based on the best information we have to date; however, these dates are approximate and may change as we gather new information about the womanís movements in the days and weeks before she disappeared.

This poster is an important investigative tool for us. We are hoping that by putting these pictures and associated information out to the public through the media, and by displaying the poster in the community, we will jog the memories of people who may have information that will help us to determine what happened to these women.

This poster includes the faces of the 15 women who are the subject of murder charges against Robert PICKTON, and other women whose DNA has been located on the farm property in Port Coquitlam. We are including them because we are still investigating these cases and there may be someone out there who has information that we have not yet spoken to. We are asking those people to come forward.

The poster also contains many other pictures of women whose whereabouts we have not yet determined. The Task Force is actively investigating these cases and has been for some time. But we still need the publicís help to piece together what happened to them. We are asking people to look carefully at these pictures and think back - and if they know any of these people, or had contact with them around the time of their disappearances and have not yet spoken to our investigators, we are asking those people to please call us.

Anyone with information about these women is asked to phone the Missing Women Tip Line at 1-877-687-3377 or Crimestoppers at 604-669-TIPS.

We can not solve these cases alone. We need the publicís help and the families of these women need your help too, so they can finally know what has become of their loved ones.

The poster and individual photos of the eight women added are available. To view the images go to the end of this press release and double click the image. Below is the corresponding name to the photos:

image 1 - Poster
image 2 - Sharon Abraham
image 3 - Sherry Baker
image 4 - Cara Ellis
image 5 - Gloria Fedyshyn
image 6 - Mary Lands
image 7 - Tania Petersen
image 8 - Tammy Fairbairn
image 9 - Sharon Ward

Released by:

Cpl. Catherine Galliford
RCMP Joint Task Force Spokesperson
Phone (604) 264-2929

Sgt. Sheila Sullivan
Vancouver Police Department Joint Task Force Spokesperson
Phone (604) 598-4308


Webmaster "E", Division
Communications Section
5255 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6

Phone: (604)264-2929
Fax: (604)264-3200

8 more names added to list of missing women




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

Updated: August 21, 2016