Farm Known to Vancouver Prostitutes

Saturday, February 9, 2002

CBC News, February 9, 2002

Residents of Port Coquitlam may be surprised that police have zeroed in on a farm in their community as they search for 50 missing women, but prostitutes working Vancouver's Downtown Eastside aren't.

Women on the gritty streets there say they've known for years not to go to a farm at Port Coquitlam.

"I was invited to that area," said one prostitute known as Susan. "My friend Andrea was invited to that area. I said, 'Andrea, don't go.' 

"Now where is she?" 

Nobody knows where Andrea Borhaven is – except that she's among 50 women who have disappeared since 1984. 

For Susan and others, the search at the Pickton farm 35 kilometres east of Vancouver is a bitter pill. They say they told police about the farm years ago. 

"Our rape crisis centre has spoken to people who have identified the farm and identified to farm to police," said Suzanne Jay, who works with the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter. "The suspicion that there was some connection between the missing women and the farm and the men who ran the farm." 

Jay says police ignored the complaints. 

That's an accusation the police deny. 

"Information that was received by police, whether it be by the Vancouver police or whether it be from another agency, that information was shared and whatever information could be acted upon was," said Det. Scott Driemel of the Vancouver police. 

Jay says more than three of the women now on the missing list came to her with suspicions about the farm. 

That's why the women who work grungy eastside streets aren't too excited about the strong suspect police say they have and the ongoing search.