Wednesday, September 22, 2010

RCMP renews call for assistance in Tamara Chipman case

On September 21, 2005 Tamara Chipman disappeared from the highway east of Prince Rupert, five years later the RCMP continue to seek out information on her disappearance, her name one of many that have gone on the missing list from Highway 16.

The five year anniversary of her disappearance has provided for many reviews of the circumstances of her case file, and many questions as to what happened to the 22 year old who was hitch hiking to Terrace and was last seen just beyond the crest of the hill where Race Trac Gas is located in the Industrial park.

The investigation into her case is part of a more comprehensive investigation in Northern BC, which has seen 18 case files officially opened in regard to murders or disappearances along the Highway 16 corridor to Alberta, a stretch of highway that is commonly refereed to by area residents as the Highway of Tears".

Of those 18 files thirteen women have been murdered and five are still listed as missing, no suspects have been identified publicly to this date in any of the eighteen cases.

In 2007 the official list of case files was increased from nine to eighteen, however some residents of Northern BC feel that there could be a number of more files added to that case load beyond the 18 investigations under way.  They are concerned about family members or friends that once lived along the Highway 16 corridor, but have gone missing without further word.

In 2006 Amnesty International estimated that up to 32 women could have gone missing along Highway 16 in the last thirty years. That concern was echoed by the United Nations which in 2008 expressed concern that Canada was failing in its response to Aboriginal women.

The five years that have passed for the Chipman family continue to highlight the frustrating lack of progress in those investigations.  The lack of  progress leaving many families and friends of each of the 18 women still seeking a sense of why and hoping one day to find some answers and a bit of closure for Northern British Columbia's longest running mysteries.

With the anniversary of the disappearance of Ms. Chipman, the quest for answers in the Highway of Tears was once again highlighted by a number of media outlets, some of which we feature below:

Vancouver Province-- Five years later, Tamara Chipman still missing
CTV News BC--  5 years since "Highway of Tears" disappearance
News 1130-- Five years since woman seen on Highway 16
Opinion 250-- Police call for clues in Chipman disappearance
CKNW-- Sombre anniversary on "Highway of Tears"

Some of our past archive items on the topic are included as well:

February 2010-- Calls continue for inquiry into cases of the missing women of Highway 16
January 2010-- More calls for action on Highway of Tears
June 2009-- Walkers for Justice seeking public inquiry into Highway of Tears disappearance
May 2009-- A walk for Justice begins at a most symbolic place
February 2009-- The road not to be travelled?
November 2007-- Lack of support over Highway of Tears initiatives draws anger from opposition
September 2007-- RCMP updates status of Tamara Chipman investigation

Police continue on with their investigations, anyone with information of Ms. Chipman's disappearance or any of the other case files in the investigation are asked to contact the tip line at 1-877-543-4822 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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