Welfare cheques untounched

Sarah Jean deVries was adopted as a baby. Twenty-eight years later she is one of 23 prostitutes missing from Vancouver BC. Even though adoption is still praised as being “in the best interest of the child,” Sarah had grown up to become addicted to drugs and infected with both AIDS and hepatitis C.

According to the woman who adopted her, the trouble began when Sarah was only 12 years old.

Maggie, who grew up with Sarah in the deVries household says, "There's no easy answer to the question as to what happened to her and how she ended up on the streets. She was adopted when she was under a year old. She was the youngest of four of us. She was very happy as a small child... but it was hard for her. She was a multi-racial child in a white neighborhood. We lived in a part of Vancouver that was almost entirely white. She was teased at school and even chased and that kind of affected her.”

Being adopted bothered Sarah. She regretted not knowing her parents. Much of the turmoil in her life was due to her transracial adoption and being raised among white genetic strangers. These are the type of feelings that she discussed with her close friend Wayne and wrote about in her journals.

"If you could see what she has written, you would realize how awful she feels inside," says Wayne.

I will try to add some of these journal entries to this site, so you can come to realize “how awful” Sarah felt inside.

The night she disappeared Sarah had been at Wayne’s house where she ate, grabbed some cloths, and was dropped off at the corner with another friend, Sylvia, also an adopted prostitute. Sylvia got picked up first. In the few moments it took Sylvia and her john to drive around the block -- Sarah was gone.

About 3 ½ months after Sarah’s disappearance, Wayne received three phone calls from a person who knew things about her not known by many people. The messages, in the order received, were:

"Sarah's dead. So there will be more girls like her dead. There will be more prostitutes killed. There will be one every Friday night. At the busiest time."

“You'll never find Sarah again. So just stop looking for her, all right? She doesn't want to be seen and heard from again, all right? So, bye. She's dead."

"This is in regard to Sarah. I just want to let you know that you'll never find her again alive because a friend of mine killed her, and I was there."

Sarah Jean is the mother of two: 8 year-old Jeanie and 3 year-old Ben. Like Sarah, they will, unfortunately, probably never know their parents or have any knowledge of their genetic history. Ben and Jeanie are at this time being raised by the now 60 year-old, divorced woman who raised Sarah.

"It's something you can't come to terms with, you can't work through, because there's never an end to it," says the woman who adopted Sarah.

This is exactly what adoption is like for every mother who loses her child to adoption! This statement expresses exactly what Sarah’s mother must have felt for Sarah’s entire life. I don’t mean to detract from Mrs. deVries grief. I’m sure that losing Sarah this way has been devastating for her. I’m certain that Mrs. deVries feels just as inconsolable as a mother who has lost her child to adoption. I want every reader to know that this is what every mother goes through when she loses her child to adoption. For every happy woman who adopts a child, there is another woman who will never “come to terms with” the loss of that same child.

The following information about Sarah comes from the Vancouver police department:

Sarah deVries, age 29 vanished from the downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC, in the early morning hours of April 14, 1998 at the corner of East Hastings and Princess Streets. She has not been seen since. Sarah is Native Indian/Mexican/Black (mixed race) 5'2", approx 99 lbs and has long curly black hair, brown eyes. Sarah was wearing tight dark blue stretch pants, high heels, black leather jacket and carrying a small leather bag. If you have any information please contact the Vancouver Police Department, Missing Persons Office at (604) 717-2530 or Crimestoppers at (604) 669-8477 or Const. Dave Dickson at (604) 687-1772. Case #98/088486.

Sarah Jean deVries
5’2” – 99 lbs
brown eyes
long curly black hair
Native Indian/Mexican/Black

According to a government report on violence against prostitutes, 50 were murdered in British Columbia from 1986 to 1995. This does not include the missing women. The police department's Internet site lists the 23 prostitutes missing since 1986. They haven't been able to find any sign of these women since the dates of their disappearances. Police are also investigating a man who confessed to his psychiatrist that he planned to abduct, torture, and kill prostitutes.

These missing women have left behind all their possessions, welfare checks, medications, and discontinued contacted with their families.

More information about Sarah Jean and the other missing women can be found at:

APB Online

What other information would you like to know about Sarah Jean? EMAIL ME

Eastside Table of Contents Page



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

Updated: August 21, 2016