'Highway of Tears' suspect named
Sep 25, 2012 / 10:33 am
The RCMP is planning to name a suspect in the investigation of 18 missing and murdered women in northern British Columbia Tuesday.
CTV British Columbia has learned investigators have linked a convicted kidnapper and attempted rapist in the U.S. to the 1974 murder of 16-year-old Colleen MacMillen through DNA evidence.
MacMillen died after hitchhiking along a highway in BC’s Interior.
American Bobby Jack Fowler will be named as a suspect in “a number of homicides that occurred in Canada and the United States over the course of the 1970s and 1990s,” Oregon police said in a release.
Fowler, who died in prison in 2006 of lung cancer, was convicted of kidnapping and attempted rape in connection with an incident at an Oregon motel, and sent to jail in 1996.
Oregon police said Fowler kidnapped a woman in Newport in 1995 and held her at the Tides Inn motel. The woman was able to escape by jumping naked out of a second-storey window with a rope still tied around her ankle.
Fowler has also been linked to five other murders of teenage girls in the U.S., according to the release.
The BC cases go back decades and are linked to a stretch of road between Prince Rupert and Prince George dubbed the Highway of Tears, an area made infamous over time for disappearances and grisly discoveries of human remains.
Mounties said they would announce “a significant development” in their investigation into the murders, a probe known as E-PANA, Tuesday.
Though dozens of missing and murdered women have been linked to the Highway of Tears, investigators have said 18 cases share hallmarks and may be the work of a serial killer.
Mounties will also be issuing a plea for assistance from both Canadian and American citizens.
Sources said police do not believe Fowler is responsible for all the Highway of Tears murders, but investigators have always worked under the assumption there could be several killers responsible.
Castanet.net will provide a live streaming broadcast of the RCMP press conference beginning at 11:15 this morning.
With files from the Canadian Press
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