Serial killer case throws up more bodies

Canadian police have discovered the remains of nine more women on the property of alleged serial killer Robert Pickton - already accused of murdering 22 missing prostitutes.

    If convicted, Robert Pickton will be Canada's worst serial killer

    The latest discovery on Wednesday may mean one man is responsible for just under half of the 65 missing women in and around Vancouver.

    However, finding more bodies around the pig farmer's property has not yet led to new charges.

    Police said they still do not know the names of three of the nine people because their DNA does not match any of the names on the police's official list of missing women.

    But a Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokeswoman said additional DNA evidence was likely to turn up as thousands of items dug up in the search of the farm in Port Coquitlam are analysed.

    Canada's worst criminal

    The 53-year-old farmer is officially charged with 15 counts of first degree murder and prosecutors have told the court that seven more counts are ready to be filed.

    All of the women he is accused of killing were sex trade workers and drug addicts who lived in Vancouver's poor Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

    In custody since his arrest in February 2002, Pickton has not entered a plea to the murder charges, but has denied having any connection with the missing women. Preliminary hearings are expected to begin in September.

    He is the only person charged in connection with the missing women cases. Police would not say if all the DNA was found at the 10-acre farm or came from an adjourning property that was searched briefly.

    Police notified the families of the six women whose DNA has been identified, including that of Dawn Crey, whose brother Ernie Crey has become an unofficial spokesman for many of the families in the missing women case.

    Plea for help

    Investigators appealed for help identifying the remains of the three women whose names remain a mystery. Police have collected DNA from relatives of 64 of 65 women known to be missing to help identify remains found at Pickton's property.

    "We believe this DNA probably belongs to women who are missing, but have not been reported to the police," said RCMP Corporal Catherine Galliford.

    Many of the people on the police list were not reported as missing until months or years after they disappeared, because their drug addictions had estranged them from family and friends.

    Police refused to give details on the types of remains found because the court case is ongoing, but acknowledged it was "sensational" in nature.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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