Vancouver cops find missing woman-Dec.17,1999

Courtesy The Vancouver Province, Friday, December 17, 1999
By: Jason Proctor, Staff Reporter

Patricia Gay Perkins

   Members of a task force trying to find more than two dozen women missing from Vancouver's downtown east side enjoyed a rare victory yesterday with news that one of their mysteries has been solved.
   A hit on one of thousands of Canadian databases provided a medical record. And with a phone call, investigators were able to locate Patricia Gay Perkins -- missing since 1978.
   "She is alive and well and living in Canada," said Const. Anne Drennan. "She does not want anybody to know where she lives."
   The discovery reduces to 28 the number of women whose whereabouts are being probed by police in an investigation that includes a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
   The case has received international attention, including a segment on the syndicated TV show America's Most Wanted.
   Perkins is the third woman to be taken off the list, but the first to be found alive. One of the other two women died of a drug overdose. Another died of a disease contracted through intravenous drug abuse.
   All of the missing woman worked in the downtown east side sex trade, and many were addicted to drugs. Police speculate that one or more killers may be at work.
   But Drennan said Perkins' case illustrates the difficulties facing the task force. Although last seen at age 22 in 1978, Perkins, now 43, wasn't reported missing until 1996. She heard about the investigation and knew she was on the list, but made no move to contact authorities.
   "Where do you start looking?" said Drennan. "She left in '78 for a new life. She apparently left a one-year-old son here and she does have some family here -- but again no contact."
   Drennan also noted that police have not added any new names to the list in 1999 -- although they've responded -- and cleared -- many reports of missing prostitutes.

Police find woman missing for 21 years-Dec 17,1999



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