Over the last four decades, at least 18 women have disappeared from British Columbia’s Highway 16. Inside the investigation:
In testimony to B.C.’s Missing Women Commission of Inquiry—formed in 2010, mainly to investigate why it took law enforcement so long to catch Willie “the Pig Farmer” Pickton, a serial killer who preyed on Vancouver women from 1995 through 2001—First Nations bands and local community groups claimed that as many as 43 women have been killed or gone missing along Highway 16. In 2005, the RCMP created a special unit calledE-Pana (E is the RCMP designation for all things British Columbian, and Pana is an Inuit god who caretakes souls in a frozen underworld before reincarnation) to examine some of the disappearances and to determine whether another serial killer was at work. Its investigators eventually sorted through hundreds of unsolved murders, missing women, and sexual assaults in B.C. over the past four decades and found that 18 cases shared enough similarities to be possibly linked.