December 11, 2002
PORT COQUITLAM, British Columbia -- Police found remains of five of the 15 women Robert Pickton is accused of killing in their search of the pig farm he owns with his siblings, a defense lawyer said Monday.
Reading from an affidavit that complains the prosecution has given the defense insufficient information, lawyer Marilyn Sandford provided some of the first public details of the case against Pickton, 53, who faces 15 first-degree murder charges.
A painstaking search of two properties -- the pig farm on Dominion Avenue and a nearby plot where Pickton and his brother ran a party house known as Piggy's Palace -- has yielded remains and DNA evidence in what police call the biggest serial killer investigation in Canadian history.
"Human remains have been discovered on the property at Dominion Avenue with respect to five victims," Sandford said. She also said a trailer on the property is believed to be "the focal point of the investigation."
The affidavit complained that police have been searching the properties for months after their search warrant expired. It says the prosecution has failed to turn over to the defense evidence including tapes of statements by key witnesses.
A preliminary hearing to determine if sufficient evidence exists to hold a trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 13.
The victims are among more than 60 women missing from the Vancouver area over the past two decades. Most were prostitutes and drug addicts from the seedy downtown East End.