Third lawsuit laid in missing women case

Toronto Star
Friday, November 22, 2002

CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. (CP) The parents of a woman whose DNA has been found at the farm of accused serial killer Robert Pickton said Friday they plan to sue the Vancouver city police over their handling of the case.

Rick and Lynn Frey's daughter, Marnie, disappeared from the streets of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in August 1997.

She is one of 63 drug-addicted prostitutes to disappear since 1978 38 of them in the last six years.

"You talk about justice," Rick Frey said Friday. "Justice to us . . . is having the women treated as women, (although) with problems."

For five years the Freys tried to get police to investigate her disappearance, said their lawyer, James Hormoth.

"Every time they tried to bring it to their attention they were snowed and nothing ever happened," he said.

Lynn Frey travelled from her Vancouver Island home to Vancouver, where she walked the streets with a photo of her step-daughter seeking information.

"Over and over she kept getting leads that were leading her back to the pig farm," Hormoth said. "She was turning the leads over to the police and nothing was happening.

"The police just simply weren't acting on it," he said.

Last week, the Freys were told that their daughter's DNA had been found at Pickton's farm.

"Their worst fears were confirmed," Hormoth said.

"Their last glimmer of hope now, of course, is gone and they're now at least able to start grieving."

Pickton has been charged with 15 counts of first-degree murder since a joint RCMP-Vancouver city police task force began searching his Port Coquitlam farm in February.

He has not been charged with Frey's death.

Hormoth said the lawsuit, against the Vancouver police, Pickton, the province and possibly the city itself, will be filed in the next few weeks.

The conduct of the city police will be the focus of the lawsuit, he said.

"In this case they actually didn't act in the face of evidence, in the face of very positive leads they failed to act," he said.

They failed to treat the missing women with the same human dignity they would have anyone else who has disappeared.

It is the third lawsuit filed against police in the case.

Doug Creison, whose daughter Marcie has been missing since December 1998, and Karin Joesbury, whose daughter Andrea disappeared in June 2001, previously filed suit against the Vancouver police, the RCMP, and the cities of Vancouver and Port Coquitlam.

The lawsuits contain allegations that haven't been proven.

Joesbury is also suing Pickton.

In a one-page statement of defence filed with the court in that case, Pickton denied the allegations.

"The defendant, Robert William Pickton, specifically denies that he killed Andrea Joesbury and further denies that he buried or otherwise disposed of her remains," it said.

Several families have been told that DNA of their relatives has been identified at the farm. Police say their four DNA labs are backlogged with exhibits found at the farm.

Police confirmed Friday that they met with the Freys last week, but would not comment on what they told the family.

"The task force has said in the past that we are obligated to share certain information with the families of the missing women, however, that obligation does not extend to the media," RCMP Const. Catherine Galliford said in a news release.

Many family members have demanded a public inquiry, saying that because the women were drug-addicted prostitutes, police did not take their disappearances seriously.

Family told daughter's DNA found at farm-Nov 22, 2002



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Updated: August 21, 2016