More east-side women missing as cops cut back

Province, February 9, 2001

Dawn Theresa Crey is not just another native woman gone missing on Vancouver's dangerous downtown eastside.

She's the beloved sister in a large Stollo family, a mother, an outgoing, fun-loving friend, a once-beautiful woman with glossy dark hair who was on steady methadone maintenance and visited twice-weekly with her sister Lorraine Crey, the manager of a native housing co-op.

"She was well-known there and very resourceful -- she made her money selling old clothes to the working women, but she couldn't afford to live in a safer part of town," says Lorraine Crey.

"No way Dawn would ever go away without telling me -- even if she had the money, which she didn't. The last time I saw her, she was terrified, talking about all the missing women and how she feared she would be next. She'd never said anything like that before."

Now Dawn Crey, 43, is on the verge of becoming a statistic as Vancouver city police prepare to add her name to the lengthy, and still-growing, list of missing women on the downtown eastside. As well as Crey, police have two more new missing women they won't name.

Yet the 1999 investigation into Vancouver's vanished women that once made media and TV headlines, and even hit America's Most Wanted, "has been almost completely disbanded down to only a skeleton staff," admits Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Anne Drennan.

Of 31 missing women investigated, only four were found -- two alive and two deceased.

Downtown-eastside activists fear a serial killer is still active, undetected and unpunished.

However, Drennan said, "a tremendous amount of police resources" were devoted but didn't yield "any significant leads. It is very unusual, since no bodies have ever been found."

Dawn's brother Ernie Crey, a Stollo aboriginal leader, is grieving and angry: "Aboriginal women like my sister who grew up in foster homes and lived down there out of poverty and desperation didn't have a lot of choice about their pathway in life. It's still our responsibility as a society to care about them and do everything we can to find them."

The Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, which claims its files show129 women missing from the area over nine years, is demanding fresh investigation by RCMP as well as city police.

If you have any information on Dawn Crey, call 669-TIPS anonymousl

New probe amid serial killer fears-Apr 28, 2001

Missing women task force downsized-Feb 14, 2001

Downtown Eastside Women's March-Feb 14-2001

RCMP Cold Squad takes over case-Feb 15, 2001

The Mysterious Disappearance-April 2,1999

Serial killer suspected in disappearance of Vancouver women

Jennifer Lynn Furminger-Mar 30, 2000



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

Updated: August 21, 2016