Profile of Sarah deVries

Courtesy of CBCs The Fifth Estate

Sarah was born in 1969 and put up for adoption before she was a year old. She became the youngest of four children in her new adoptive family and grew up in West Point Grey, a suburb of Vancouver. Her father taught at the University of British Columbia and her mother worked as a nurse at the Vancouver General Hospital. A pretty girl with curly black hair, Sarah had a good sense of humour and an infectious laugh.. From earliest childhood she was also very creative, always hunched over a piece of paper writing or drawing. Her family loved her sparkling personality.

She began frequenting the streets when she was a teenager and became hooked on heroin and cocaine. But even as her life became darker, and her options fewer, she continued to sketch and keep notes in a diary. She also composed poems about life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. In one of her journal entries, Sarah wrote: "Will they remember me when I'm gone, or would their lives just carry on?"

While on the streets of Vancouver, Sarah had two children, a girl and then a boy. They now live with their grandmother and great aunt in Ontario. Before she went missing, Sarah had begun work on an alphabet book for her daughter.

The last time Sarah was seen alive was in the early morning hours of April 14, 1998.

In 1999, Sarah's sister Maggie organized a memorial service for her sister and all of the missing women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The families of the missing women dedicated a bench in their honour. The bench is in Crab Tree Park

You can read more about Sarah in her own words by looking at some of her journal entries.

There are a number of local outreach organizations in Vancouver that exist to help prostitutes.

One of them is PACE: Prostitution Alternatives Counseling and Education. Their website address is: pace/kids
You can visit the website to learn more about PACE or to read parts of the report PACE published after it surveyed 200 prostitutes about life on the street: Violence Against Women In Vancouver's Street Level Sex Trade And The Police Response.

Another organization dedicated to helping Vancouver's prostitutes is DEYAS: Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society. Their website address is: 
Both of these organizations are located in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

The Vancouver Police Department website is: 

Link: The Fifth Estate: 

She's focusing on the living-Dec 6, 2001



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

Updated: August 21, 2016