In British Columbia, Canada, 13 women have been murdered and five more have gone missing while travelling on the same stretch of road...
The official name for the road in British Columbia, Canada is Highway 16. But one stretch, measuring 450 miles between the cities of Prince George and Prince Rupert is referred to as the Highway of Tears.
Between 1989 and 2006, nine young women had gone missing from or been found murdered along the road. All but one were aboriginal woman. Fears began to grow among these communities that a serial killer was preying on vulnerable girls, travelling alone on the highways.
In 2005 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) set up Project E-PANA to investigate what happened to the nine women. By 2007, they’d identified nine further cases, doubling the number of missing or dead.
With 13 murder investigations and five missing persons cases, the task force have promised that there is no such thing as a cold case and will continue to look into the disappearances and deaths. They have said that they do not think that one single serial killer is behind every case.
But there is a suspect. In 2012, RCMP announced that the DNA of American rapist Bobby Jack Fowler was found on one of the victims, Colleen MacMillen, 16.
Fowler had died in prison six years before. He was also a strong suspect in the deaths of Gale Weys and Pamela Darlington, and a possible suspect in 10 more.
If he was the culprit, there should be no more deaths of woman on the Highway of Tears. But the communities forced to live in fear these past 30 years don’t have faith that the police have their man and they are keen to ensure the body count doesn’t increase.
A road sign on the infamous Highway of Tears bears the images of some of the victims and cautions girls not to hitchhike. Underneath is the stark warning… Killer on the loose!