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Author Topic: B.C. Government puts officers on case of missing women along highway of tears  (Read 1131 times)

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[H1][DIV class=source][img height=44 src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/p/lo_cpo130.gif" width=130 border=0][/DIV]B.C. government puts officers on case of missing women along highway of tears [/H1][!-- END HEADLINE --][=ynmain][!-- BEGIN STORY BODY --][=storybody][DIV class=storyhdr][EM class=recenttimedate]2 hours, 14 minutes ago[/i]

[DIV class=spacer][/DIV][/DIV]VICTORIA (CP) - More than 35 RCMP officers are investigating the disappearance and murders of several women along the so-called highway of tears in northern British Columbia and more may be added later, the province's solicitor general said Tuesday.

But John Les said police continue to maintain a serial killer is not believed to be involved. "These tragic deaths have shocked and saddened people across the province," Les said.

"A targeted police team will help ensure that we have the resources and tools to find out what happened to these women so that justice is done and the communities can start to heal."

Twenty-two officers have been working on the case of Aielah Saric-Auger, 14, after her body was found outside Prince George earlier this month. Police have said her death may not be connected to the highway cases.

Another 15 officers have been working on investigations into the disappearances or deaths of eight other women, dating back to 1990.

All but one of the women are aboriginal.

Rena Zatorski, a councillor with the Lheidli T'enneh Nation in Prince George, welcomed the addition of more police officers to the case, but she said such a response has been a long time coming.

"There still is an element of frustration and anger in the communities here. Part of that anger and frustration is because the government has taken so long and part of it stems from not fully understanding what the RCMP is doing or have done," Zatorski said.

There's also a feeling that the issue hasn't been taken seriously enough because most of the missing and murdered women are aboriginal, she said.

"Aboriginal women seem to have become the aboriginal minority and therefore they've become prey."

On Wednesday, community leaders will meet to set a date for a symposium in March to discuss ways to deal with the case, Zatorski said.

Part of the problem they'll discuss is the disconnect between aboriginal youth, who tend to choose dangerous lifestyles, and the larger community, she said.

"Because this is happening within our aboriginal communities, our aboriginal youth, it's up to the aboriginal leadership and communities themselves to deal with these issues."

Response to the symposium from various organizations, including women's groups, the University of Northern B.C. and other First Nations groups, has been overwhelming, Zatorski said.

Les said the government will match funds pledged for the symposium.

He will also attend the symposium, where the RCMP are expected to outline the progress of their various investigations.



[DIV class=spacer] [/DIV][DIV class=spacer] [/DIV][DIV class=spacer] [/DIV][DIV class=spacer] [/DIV][DIV class=spacer] [/DIV][DIV class=spacer] [/DIV][DIV class=spacer]Its about time, they do something. We got a serial killer preying on women out there and they have done nothing to stop this.[/DIV][/DIV][/DIV]
"We can't stop here. This is bat country."

 

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