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PorchlightCanada for the Missing and Unidentified > British Columbia Missing Persons > 1993 MCLAUGHLIN, ,Sherri-9/19/1993

Title: 1993 MCLAUGHLIN, ,Sherri-9/19/1993
Description: Kamloops-21

Cheryl - March 15, 2007 07:04 AM (GMT)
Sherri McLaughlin, 21, disappeared in the early hours of
September 19, 1993, while riding her bicycle in Kamloops. Her body has
never been found.

PorchlightCanada - September 18, 2009 04:42 AM (GMT)
Sherri McLaughlin
Missing since September 19, 1993 from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Classification: Endangered Missing


Vital Statistics

Age at Time of Disappearance: 20 years old


Circumstances of Disappearance
Sherri McLaughlin went missing the night of September 19, 1993, after a night out with friends. She jumped on her bike that night and planned to visit her boyfriend’s house.
When she never arrived, her boyfriend went looking for her and found her abandoned bike and backpack at the side of Parkcrest Drive. The bike’s front wheel had been damaged beyond use. Foul play is suspected.


If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Kamloops & District Crime Stoppers
1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

Source Information:
Kamloops this week

PorchlightCanada - September 18, 2009 04:42 AM (GMT)

PorchlightCanada - September 18, 2009 04:42 AM (GMT)
Violent sex offender suspected in missing Kamloops woman cold case
By Lori Culbert, Vancouver SunSeptember 17, 2009 2:37

- Police have identified a suspect in the case of Sherri McLaughlin, who disappeared 16 years ago from Kamloops.

At a press conference in Kamloops Thursday, RCMP would not name the suspect but said he is already in jail on unrelated charges.

The man has been declared a dangerous offender by the courts.

The suspect is a violent sexual offender from Vancouver Island, who has been behind bars for 10 years in a Lower Mainland prison.

He has refused to speak to police about McLaughlin's case, despite her family writing him letters in prison begging for answers.

McLaughlin's brother pleaded again Thursday for some closure - for a location of his sister's remains.

"Please, please give us that final piece of information so we can bring Sherri home," James McLaughlin said.

The case was cracked in the last year as a result of a combination of evidence, inclluding paint chips and a deer whistle left at the scene of the crime that came from the suspect's vehicle.

However, Staff Sgt Garry Kerr said there still isn't sufficient evidence to put the suspect behind the wheel that night, therefore charges have not yet been laid.

© Copyright © The Vancouver Sun

More Images » Sherri McLaughlin's son Stephen holds grandmother Jackie White in Kamloops, where police announced Thursday they have identified a suspect connected to McLaughlin's disappearance 16 years ago.Photograph by: Bill Keay, Vancouver SunKAMLOOPS

PorchlightCanada - September 18, 2009 04:44 AM (GMT)
Major development expected today in missing Kamloops woman cold case
Young mother Sherri McLaughlin vanished from a Kamloops street in 1993
By LORI CULBERT, Vancouver SunSeptember 17, 2009Be the first to post a comment
StoryPhotos ( 2 )
More Images » Sherri McLaughlin with her son.Photograph by: Handout, Special to The SunRCMP are expected to announce Thursday a major development in the case of Sherri McLaughlin, a 20-year-old woman who vanished 16 years ago from Kamloops.

At a press conference this morning, investigators are expected to release details about new forensic evidence in the troubling cold case. It is believed members of McLaughlin’s family will attend.

McLaughlin’s older brother James said in a telephone interview from Kamloops that he has “mixed emotions” about the press conference, noting no news from police will erase his sister’s disappearance.

“My sister has been gone for 16 years,” he said. “I don't know how I’ll feel until I know what [the police information] is."

McLaughlin’s case has haunted the city of Kamloops since she went missing on Sept. 19, 1993; Saturday will mark the 16th anniversary of her disappearance.

The young mother left behind a one-year-old son, Stephen, and a loving family. The family maintains she would not have run away and has always suspected foul play.

McLaughlin was riding her bicycle a short distance to her ex-boyfriend’s house early that morning, but never arrived.

Her mangled bike was later found by the side of the road, and police said it appeared to have been run over by a vehicle. However, there was no sign of a struggle and no physical evidence such as blood or torn clothing that would suggest McLaughlin had also been struck by a hit-and-run driver.

“We're certainly looking at it as a possible abduction,” RCMP Staff Sgt. Peter Montague told The Vancouver Sun one day after she vanished.

A backpack belonging to McLaughlin, who worked as a waitress at a local Pizza Hut, was also found lying nearby.

Her family — including mother Jackie White, who is raising the victim’s now-17-year-old son; father Garry, a former Surrey RCMP officer; and brother James, from Kamloops — have never stopped looking for her.

They established a memorial on Parkcrest Avenue in Kamloops, where the bike was found. And an anonymous donor contributed $10,000 to the family’s reward fund for evidence about McLaughlin’s whereabouts.

Jackie White has, over the years, expressed frustration about the lack of breaks in her daughter’s case.

An RCMP officer told the Kamloops Daily News in 2007 that the file was “an investigator’s worst nightmare,” noting many people investigated in connection with the case had been ruled out as suspects and that no forensic evidence had ever been found.

“The investigation came to a point when there was no new information. I hate to say it. She didn't disappear into thin air, but it was like working a case where that happened,” RCMP Staff Sgt. Garry Kerr told the newspaper two years ago.

“There has never been a viable suspect... Despite the thousands and thousands of man hours that went into the thing ... there’s been nothing. We have zip.”

Police were tight-lipped Wednesday about any new details to be revealed Thursday.

Around 2002, the Kamloops RCMP handed over the file to the unsolved homicide unit in Vancouver, which specializes in cold cases.

Over the years, many initiatives have been taken to try to find clues: A riverbed was dug up, a psychic was consulted, and community volunteers conducted foot searches and put up posters.

More recently, her family has searched for answers using the social networking site Facebook and by creating a memorial website at

Photos on the website show a pretty girl smiling at a birthday party, by a Christmas tree, and holding her baby son.

A message from her family reads: “After all these years we have not been able to find the valuable piece of information that will help locate her. Somebody somewhere knows the whereabouts of Sherri McLaughlin. Please help us find Sherri.”
© Copyright © The Vancouver Sun

PorchlightCanada - September 19, 2009 04:22 PM (GMT)
Family will quietly mark anniversary of daughter’s disappearance


Standing at the spot where Sherri McLaughlin was last seen on Parkcrest Avenue, brother James McLaughlin and mom Jackie White are pictured two years ago on the anniversary of her disappearance.

Daily News Staff Reporter

September 19, 2009

Kamloops – Sherri McLaughlin’s family will gather quietly at a memorial site today on Parkcrest Avenue, as they’ve done for each of the past 15 years.

But unlike recent years past, when there was scant information from police about the young woman’s disappearance from a Brocklehurst street, Thursday marked the biggest break in information since she disappeared in 1993.

“Everything’s been stirred up again,” said her brother James, who has been the public face of the family for almost two decades.

“There’s hope we’ll get answers. We’ve already got answers,” James said of the stunning revelation by RCMP Thursday. “But we haven’t found Sherri.”

Only two years ago the lead investigator, Staff Sgt. Garry Kerr, said publicly “there’s been nothing. We have zip.”

Now, police say they know the killer is a convicted sex offender who is behind bars and classified as a dangerous offender.

The family will meet Saturday on the anniversary of Sherri’s disappearance at Parkcrest Avenue where her crumpled bike was discovered. Forensic analysts have matched paint from the bike to a car once owned by the sex offender.

The anniversary is always difficult for the family, including Sherri’s son, Stephen, now 17, as well as mother, Jackie, who is currently in hospital. Adding to the pain of the anniversary is the loss of Jackie White’s mother three weeks ago.

For the first three years large groups of volunteers and well wishers gathered at the memorial site. James said it became more appropriate over time that the anniversary become a quiet moment shared among the McLaughlin family.

“We’ve got mixed emotions,” James said of the impact of the week on the family.

“I hope and pray we’ll find the answers we need. A part of me is bracing for possibility we may never know. (But) we already know more than I thought we would.”

That was the message police emphasized at the press conference Thursday — a final answer for the family.

“They want to bring their girl home.”

PorchlightCanada - September 19, 2009 04:25 PM (GMT)
Who took Sherri McLaughlin?
RCMP to reveal new evidence today on mysterious 1993 disappearance

Sherri McLaughlin at 17.

Daily News Staff Reporter

September 17, 2009

Kamloops – One of the city’s most notorious cold cases may be a step closer to being solved as RCMP reveal new evidence in Sherri McLaughlin’s disappearance almost 16 years to the day she vanished.

Staff Sgt. Gary Kerr, head of Kamloops RCMP’s serious crime section, said Wednesday police know who is responsible for McLaughlin’s disappearance on Sept. 19, 1993.

“I am going to get up tomorrow and say we know who is responsible,” said Kerr.

“We know, I know, who kidnapped and killed her.”

Kerr said officers will not make a public appeal for new information. Instead, he will show new forensic evidence that is integral to the investigation.

He said the evidence has never been made public before, not even to McLaughlin’s family.

“Everything is going to be laid on the line tomorrow,” said Kerr, adding police are “one inch shy of a mile” to bringing the case to a close.

“After this many years . . . we felt the family needs to know this information and the public needs to know this information, too.”

McLaughlin’s brother, James McLaughlin, said he and other family members will attend the press conference. He has not been told what the new evidence is, or how it relates to his sister’s disappearance.

“I don’t know how I feel,” he said about the development in the investigation. “My sister has been missing for 16 years. How can you feel?”

The 18-year-old was last seen by friends headed on her bicycle to visit her boyfriend. Her abandoned bike was found, its wheel twisted beyond use, on the side of Parkcrest Drive.

Despite an intense police investigation, no answers to her whereabouts ever surfaced. A viable suspect has never been found.

James said he has been on an emotional roller-coaster every day since. Some days he feels good, other days he feels sad.

“When I am having a good time, when I’m happy, I feel bad because I am happy because my sister has gone through whatever,” he said.

Kerr was one of scores of police officers who put in countless hours in September 1993, looking for evidence, tips or leads that would bring them to the missing girl.

He said McLaughlin’s disappearance is “the one remaining horrific act” that has left people in Kamloops wondering.

“A lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into this investigation,” he said.

In an interview with The Daily News in 2007, James said he thought police did what they could with the investigation, but he also felt frustrated by the lack of ongoing contact with investigators.

Even though the case had gone cold, he wished officers would be more open about what has — or has not — happened during the investigation and give the family the full picture, he said at the time.

Kamloops RCMP handed the file to the RCMP's unsolved homicide unit in Vancouver, with the hope the specialized section would have more time to devote to the case.

Glendene Grant says...

Thank God the McLauglin family will hear something ANYTHING about Sherri's case. Like James said, they just want to find out where the case is sitting - cold or not, what has happened so far. Them knowing who did it all these years but not being to do anything about it (for whatever reason) must have been so frustrating to the police. It is too bad that they never told Sherri's family they 'knew' she was killed and by who, as they family lived all these years wondering if she was ok and where she was. Knowing is the first part of healing - of trying to get the closure everyone talks about. I know - my daughter Jessie Foster has been missing since March 29, 2006. We believe that Jessie is alive and the victim of a human trafficking ring.

Posted on September 17, 2009 @ 8:03 am PST

PorchlightCanada - September 19, 2009 04:27 PM (GMT)
KIM PEMBERTON. The Vancouver Sun. Vancouver, B.C.: Oct 29, 1993. pg. B.2
(Copyright The Vancouver Sun)

Police are looking into "disturbing'' similarities between the murder of a Kelowna woman and the disappearance of a Kamloops woman.

Both Jennifer Shawn Cusworth, 19, and Sherri McLaughlin, 20, were last seen alone in early-morning hours on city streets -- Cusworth in Kelowna and McLaughlin in Kamloops, which is only 1/2-hour drive away.

Cusworth's body was found Oct. 17 while McLaughlin, who went missing in Kamloops Sept. 20, has never been found.

"There are disturbing similarities between them,'' said RCMP S.Sgt. Peter Montague. "We're not saying one person is responsible for both cases, but we're not ruling this out either.''

RCMP in Kelowna, meanwhile, are investigating a report of another 20-year-old woman who was frightened by a man walking behind her in the area where Cusworth was last seen. The incident happened Saturday around 2:45 a.m.

The woman was able to run to a local hotel and called police, who released a composite drawing of the man Thursday.

"We're not calling him the suspect because we don't know if he is the guy who murdered her (Cusworth)," said Kelowna S.Sgt. Darrell Graves.

"He was definitely acting suspicious, but who is to say those suspicious actions can't be explained by something not criminal.''

Graves said police are taking the tip -- the only one of its kind to Kelowna RCMP so far -- seriously because it occurred in the immediate area of where Cusworth was last seen.

The OkanaganUniversityCollege student earlier had been at a house party attended by about 130 people. She was walking home alone at 5:30 a.m.

McLaughlin disappeared at about 3 a.m. while riding her mountain bike to her ex-boyfriend's home. Her damaged bicycle was found by the side of the road.

Kamloops Cpl. Wayne Zaksauskas said there have been preliminary discussions between investigators on the McLaughlin case and those working on Cusworth's murder.

PorchlightCanada - September 19, 2009 04:29 PM (GMT)
John Colebourn. The Province. Vancouver, B.C.: Jan 5, 1995. pg. A.6
(Copyright The Province (Vancouver) 1995)

KAMLOOPS -- Rex Fitz-Gerald is convinced the mystery behind Sherri McLaughlin's disappearance is in the frozen North Thompson River.

He spent five fruitless hours digging up a section of the river bed by the HalstonBridge yesterday.

But he still believes something under the ice will prove that McLaughlin was murdered and her body dumped in the river.

McLaughlin, 20, vanished without a trace early on Sept. 19, 1993, as she rode her bike to an ex-boyfriend's home. Her mangled bike was found by the side of the road.

A massive search failed and Fitz-Gerald, who found the body of murdered child Mindy Tran in Kelowna in November, was called in to help.

"In all probability there's just a small part of her in there," Fitz-Gerald said after a backhoe began to fill in the 10-by-10- metre hole it had dug two metres (six feet) deep.

"With all those chunks of ice and mud it's very difficult to find anything," said Fitz-Gerald, who lives in Winfield in the Okanagan.

Fitz-Gerald found the spot -- just a few hundred metres from McLaughlin's Kamloops apartment -- after two days of tracking with what he calls his "quatro wand."

The wand was loaded with strands of McLaughlin's hair.

"It has to be a body part," said Fitz-Gerald. "It could be hair, a patch of skin, something like that.

"Basically we went out about five miles from here and then narrowed it down.

"It would have been nice to have found something to let the family know what happened to her."

McLaughlin's brother James, 25, stood by the excavation site knowing that now, with the river frozen, may be the only chance to get heavy digging machinery on the river. Any sign of his sister may be washed away with the spring runoff.

"We're no closer today than we were a year ago," he said.

"I guess it's bad that we didn't find anything, but on the other hand she still could be out there safe somewhere."

Despite Fitz-Gerald's failure, RCMP are glad he gave it a try.

PorchlightCanada - September 19, 2009 04:30 PM (GMT)
Sherri McLaughlin: Bring her back, family pleads to suspect
Son, parents, brother beg suspect for information
By LORI CULBERT, VANCOUVER SUNSeptember 18, 2009Comments (9)
StoryPhotos ( 2 )
More Images » Stephen McLaughlin, (L), son of Sherri McLaughlin, comforts his grandmother Jackie White during a press conference in Kamloops, September 17. Sherri McLaughlin disappeared in Kamloops in 1993, leaving behind a crumpled bicycle that had been run over by a vehicle. Her body was never found. RCMP said they have a suspect in the 16-year-old case.Photograph by: Bill Keay, Vancouver SunKAMLOOPS — His head bowed and eyes welling with tears, the teenage son of Sherri McLaughlin begged Thursday for information from the man police believe killed his mother 16 years ago.

“I really, really want my mom back. I never got to know her, I was only one when she went missing. I have no memory of her, I don’t even know the sound of her voice,” Stephen McLaughlin, 17, said at an RCMP press conference here.

Sherri McLaughlin’s mother Jackie White — who raised Stephen — sobbed as the slight, bespectacled teen asked the suspect to show the family some compassion by revealing his mother’s whereabouts.

“Please, please tell anyone, no matter who it is, please tell somebody,” he said quietly.

McLaughlin’s father Gary, a retired RCMP officer, also broke down during the emotional appeal.

McLaughlin’s disappearance and presumed murder has gone unsolved since she vanished Sept. 19, 1993 while riding her bicycle to an ex-boyfriend’s house in Kamloops.

For 16 years, the damaged bike and other evidence sat in boxes, periodically pulled out when frustrated officers revisited the historical file.

Police say the case haunted investigators because they believe McLaughlin was truly an innocent victim — a young waitress with a one-year-old son — who was randomly snatched by a stranger.

It has also been agonizing for her family to have no answers.

Then, last year, investigators conducting another file review connected the dots between old clues and new ones, and zeroed in on one main suspect.

The RCMP describe him as a dangerous offender imprisoned in the Lower Mainland in connection with a violent sexual assault on Vancouver Island.

(Police would not release his name, but The Vancouver Sun has learned he is Robert Daniel Dow, who has three convictions for rape and a criminal history of violent assaults against women going back more than 20 years.)

What police would say about their suspect is they visited him in jail and asked him to speak about McLaughlin, but he refused. He also ignored heartfelt letters from McLaughlin’s family begging for closure.

A letter penned by White is addressed to “the man that took my daughter,” and tells him that “as time went on my nightmares started, [and] now I live a repeated one.”

She added: “The person that took Sherri also took a true family identity from Stephen her son. He will never know the love Sherri had for him, her touch, arms to hold him, brothers or sisters to share happy times with.”

Police held Thursday’s press conference to try to convince the suspect one last time to fess up about where McLaughlin is.

“You know who you are. I know who you are. What I’m asking, if there is a grain of humanity in you and I know there is, please tell somebody,” said Kamloops Staff Sgt. Garry Kerr.

“Please do the right thing.”

Police have determined the suspect has relatives in Kamloops and was in that city the day McLaughlin was abducted.

They have also confirmed paint chips from the undercarriage of his car came from McLaughlin’s bike. And a deer whistle — a small plastic device that emits high-pitched noises to scare away deer — attached to the car’s front bumper was ripped off and left at the scene of the abduction.

From the damage on the bike, police believe it was initially struck while McLaughlin was riding it, and may have been hit again when the vehicle was fleeing the scene of the abduction.

Police have recently discovered that a few days later, the car’s broken back window was repaired. (McLaughlin was feisty, Kerr said, and would have struggled for her life.)

And then the ownership of the blue Pontiac Grand Am was transferred to the suspect’s wife.

Police now also know the suspect went to his home in the Lower Mainland immediately after McLaughlin was abducted. They would not reveal which city he lived in, but said a recent search conducted in that area turned up no evidence.

Items seized from the car were tested for McLaughlin’s DNA, but the results were inconclusive. A more modern version of DNA testing is being tried on the old samples and the results could be ready soon, Kerr said.

A criminal charge cannot be approved, he added, unless police get evidence that can put the suspect behind the wheel when McLaughlin was taken.

“We’re an inch shy of a mile. I can tell you that last inch will be hellish, but it is in sight,” Kerr said of a possible arrest.

James McLaughlin, Sherri’s older brother, said whether or not the suspect is ever charged is not as important to the family as finding out where his sister is.

“I want to ask and beg for the final piece of information we need to know where she is, to ask for closure for my mother,” he said, dabbing his eyes.

“Please, please give us that final piece of information so we can bring Sherri home.”

Kerr said police received a tip about the suspect shortly after McLaughlin’s disappearance, but it was such an innocuous one that it wasn’t considered a high priority. The suspect did, however, have convictions for violent sex offences at that time.

Kerr said police know of at least one other person, a friend of the suspect’s who lives in Kamloops, who likely has some knowledge of what happened that night. Police hope that person may also reveal more to investigators.

When police approached the suspect in prison to talk about McLaughlin, his response, according to Kerr, was: “If you’ve got enough, charge me and I’ll see you in court.”

Kerr is hopeful, though, based on knowledge of the suspect’s past behaviour, that the appeal this time may work.

“I believe he does have a conscience,” he said.

For Kerr, one of the original investigators on the file, the thought of one day resolving the crime is an emotional one.

“I’ve lived with this case in my heart for 16 years.”

© Copyright © The Vancouver Sun

PorchlightCanada - September 19, 2009 04:32 PM (GMT)
“I know who you are” cop tells suspect in Sherri McLaughlin slaying
Tagged with: Kamloops cold case McLaughlin killed identified RCMP detail forensic work Sherri McLaughlin Sherri McLaughlin murder suspect Staff-Sgt. Gary Kerr

Does the killer have a grain of humanity?
By Salim Jiwa

KAMLOOPS – RCMP have detailed the astonishing scientific work that led them to a suspect in the disappearance of Sherri McLaughlin 16 years ago.

Police said painstaking examinations of paint chips, glue and other items on Sherri’s bike and a car seized for examination led them to a predatory sex maniac who is jailed indefinitely as a dangerous offender.

Now, all they would like is for the man to put the Sherri’s family at ease by giving them information about how and where he disposed of the body. But cops say the man is heartless and will not talk about the case even though he is unlikely to ever come out of prison.

“I have been a member of the RCMP for 28 years. In that time I have investigated thousands of offences, but I have lived with this case in my heart for 16 years, and we are not about to let it go,” said Staff-Sgt. Garry Kerr, the lead investigator on the case.

McLaughlin, disappeared on September 16, 1993. At the time of her disappearance Sherri left home on her bike to ride to her boyfriend’s house. She never arrived.

A search was quickly launched, and her bike and backpack were found on the side of the road on Parkcrest Avenue. The bike had clearly been driven over by a car, police said.

“A full scale RCMP investigation began that initially involved about 25 investigators. Despite their best efforts, they couldn’t find her. The evidence was clear that she had been abducted after being intentionally struck by a vehicle, and then murdered,” said a detailed statement in which police have appealed directly to the man, hoping that he finds comfort in telling the truth.

“ She had just turned 20 years old, and left behind a one year old baby boy and her loving family and friends,” police said.

Serious Crimes investigators from the Kamloops RCMP continued to aggressively pursue the case, but despite about 250 tips from the public, the case eventually grew cold.

Investigators got their first big break after an extensive file review surfaced the name of a sex offender who was in custody for violent predatory sex offences on Vancouver Island.

Further investigation revealed that this male had family members living in Kamloops which in a sense connected him to the city.

Inquiries were discreetly made about numerous aspects of the male’s life, said Kerr.

“Investigators learned that the male was in Kamloops on the day Sherri was last seen, and he left town that night driving his blue Pontiac Grand Am. Of note was the fact that a few days after Sherri disappeared, he made an insurance claim to replace a broken window on his car,” he said.

A short time later, he transferred the ownership of his car into his wife’s name.

Investigators tracked down the male’s car and seized it.

A comprehensive examination by RCMP Forensic Identification investigators was conducted on the car that revealed tiny paint chips on the undercarriage.

Forensic examination was conducted and paint was conclusively determined to be from Sherri’s bike.

In addition, scrapes on the bottom of the gas tank were forensically matched with the front sprocket of Sherri’s bike.

Sleuths spotted the outline of a small yet very old adhesive sticker on the front bumper of the car. One of the investigators recalled that a plastic deer whistle was found on the roadway at the original crime scene.

At the time, it was unknown if the deer whistle was linked to Sherri’s disappearance, or if it had fallen off another car at some point in the past.

The deer whistle was forensically analyzed in relation to the adhesive sticker found on the bumper of the car. There was a confirmed match.

The deer whistle found on the road at the location where Sherri’s bike was found was positively identified as being broken off the suspect’s vehicle.

Despite all the scientific conclusion, police have been told by crown counsel they don’t have a case that will lead to conviction.

“Despite this evidence, there has so far been insufficient evidence to establish a substantial likelihood of conviction. The suspect has been in custody in Abbotsford for over ten years,” said Kerr.

“ He has been declared a dangerous offender for committing violent predatory sexual offences and is currently serving an indeterminate sentence. He may never get out of jail. So far, he has refused to cooperate in any way with the investigation and will not speak with investigators,” said Kerr.

Kerr emphasized that at this point in the investigation RCMP investigators are not looking for additional information from the public, but are appealing directly to the killer.

“We aren’t looking for any suspects, because we know who is responsible. I am making a personal appeal to that person. You know who you are, and I know who you are.” said Kerr. “I am appealing to you now to provide us with the location of Sherri’s remains so she can be brought back home.”

“You have taken Sherri from her family, but if there is any grain of humanity in you, and I believe there is, do the right thing and give her back to her family. Tell us where she is so she can be brought home.”

PorchlightCanada - September 19, 2009 04:34 PM (GMT)
BC BREAKING NEWS :To market, to market Striking paramedics slash pay demand Bringing BC’s Communities together

Saturday, 9/19/2009 12:32 pm
part of
Break in 16-year-old missing-woman case?

The disappearance of Sherri McLaughlin (in photo) 16 years ago still haunts mom Jackie White and brother James McLaughlin. An RCMP press conference on Thursday morning is expected to reveal much more about the investigation.
Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week

Published: September 16, 2009 4:00 PM
Updated: September 16, 2009 6:30 PM

0 Comments Nearly 16 years to the day Sherri McLaughlin mysteriously disappeared, Kamloops RCMP are holding a press conference to update the case.

While Mounties remain tight-lipped on details until Thursday morning's press conference, it is expected police will announce a break in the cold case — and a possible arrest.

McLaughlin went missing the night of Sept. 19, 1993, after a night out with friends.

According to police reports, the 20-year-old jumped on her bike that night and planned to visit her boyfriend’s house.

When McLaughlin never arrived, her boyfriend went looking for her and found her abandoned bike and backpack at the side of Parkcrest Drive.

The bike’s front wheel had been damaged beyond use.

McLaughlin hasn't been seen since.

RCMP members assigned to the disappearance referred to it as "the case from hell."

It is expected police will reveal more evidence and affirm they are confident they know the identity of the person responsible for McLaughlin's disappearance.

PorchlightCanada - September 19, 2009 04:36 PM (GMT)
Kamloops murder suspect has ‘problems with victim empathy’: parole documents
Friday, September 18th, 2009 | 5:13 pm

Canwest News Service

The man who has refused requests by police to fess up to the murder of missing Kamloops mother Sherri McLaughlin "has problems with victim empathy, " according to National Parole Board documents.

However, the reports also leave open some hope that Daniel Dow, a dangerous offender locked up for a decade, has what police call the conscience to do the right thing: despite a history of violent sexual offences, he married his spiritual counselor in 2003, which has brought him "solace and hope."

Still, Dow, who had a difficult childhood and has been convicted of raping four women, was classified in his most recent psychological assessment as being in the "moderate-high range" to re-offend.

The RCMP held an unusual press conference Thursday, flanked by McLaughlin’s family, to say investigators believe they know who abducted the 20-year-old in 1993.

Both police and family members pleaded for the suspect to reveal the location of her remains so they could give her a proper burial.

Previous visits by police to prison and letters written by McLaughlin’s relatives had failed to get the suspect to talk.

The RCMP didn’t name the suspect but several media outlets, including The Vancouver Sun, determined it was Dow.

McLaughlin left behind a one-year-old son when she disappeared. Her damaged bicycle was found by a Kamloops road, and RCMP say paint from the bike was later found on the undercarriage of the suspect’s car.

Police believe McLaughlin was an innocent victim snatched by a stranger, which has similarities to Dow’s previous offences during which he raped and threatened to kill his victims.

The parole board documents say Dow, 50, had a history of juvenile crimes and "a difficult childhood with significant abuse and neglect" while living with his mother and in foster care.

He also suffers from depression and alcohol abuse.

While serving an earlier sentence in the 1990s, Dow also had an in-prison wedding, which led to some success when he was granted conditional release, the documents say.

When that marriage ended, he dated another woman who committed suicide.

"The downward spiral that culminated in [a 1998 sexual assault] is connected to these emotional setbacks as well as your deep seeded problem with anger and your serious financial problems," the parole board says.

Dow’s 2003 marriage in prison brought positive change again. "She is viewed as a positive source of support for you," it says, "and you are again making plans for the future."

The documents say the parole board was hesitant in the past to release Dow, who was declared a dangerous offender in 1999. He was involved in several assaults while locked up in the 1970s and 1980s, and was twice detained beyond his mandatory supervision date and was not paroled until a few months before his full sentence expired.

However, in Dow’s most recent parole board report, written in 2007, he was described as "an active participant who has made some gains" through anger management, substance abuse and sex offender programs.

"The board is encouraged by the reported positive change in your attitude," it says.

A 2007 psychological report recommended he continue rehabilitation programs and private visits with his wife before being considered for release.

The parole documents say Dow may be transferred to a minimum security institution.

PorchlightCanada - September 19, 2009 04:38 PM (GMT)
B.C. Mounties urge 1993 murder suspect to reveal location of victim's remains

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Mounties are urging a dangerous offender suspected of killing a young woman 16 years ago in British Columbia to tell them what he did with her remains.

RCMP held a press conference in Kamloops, B.C., on Thursday to update the case of Sherri McLaughlin, a 20-year-old mother who vanished while biking to her boyfriend's house on Sept. 16, 1993.

Investigators have determined McLaughlin was intentionally struck by a vehicle, abducted and killed but they have yet to find her body.

Mounties have linked McLaughlin's homicide to a violent sexual offender who has been behind bars for more than 10 years but the unnamed suspect has so far refused to speak with investigators.

"You know who you are, I know who you are, and what I'm asking is if there's a grain of humanity in you - and I know there is - please do the right thing and tell someone," Staff Sgt. Garry Kerr said as members of McLaughlin's family looked on.

"It doesn't have to be the police; maybe a prison chaplain. Please tell somebody where Sherri is and we will get that information because that is our focus, is to bring Sherri home."

McLaughlin's son, Stephen, who was an infant when his mother disappeared and is now 17, says having her remains returned would mean a great deal.

"I really, really want my mom back. I never got to know her. I was only about one when she went missing. I have no memory of her. I don't even know the sound of her voice," Stephen said, his voice breaking at times.

"Hopefully, she can be found, hopefully, we can have closure. Please, please tell anyone."

RCMP investigators for the first time Thursday disclosed key evidence in McLaughlin's disappearance.

About 25 investigators initially worked the case and pursued about 250 tips from the public.

The case eventually grew cold, but investigators got their first big break when the name of a sex offender surfaced during a file review. During that review, the man was in custody for violent sex offences on Vancouver Island.

Investigators learned the man had family in Kamloops and was in town the day McLaughlin was last seen, driving his blue Pontiac Grand Am.

RCMP say a few days after Sherri disappeared, the man made an insurance claim to replace a broken window on his car. Soon after, he transferred ownership of the vehicle over to his wife.

Investigators tracked down the man's car and seized it, eventually discovering paint chips on the vehicle's undercarriage.

"A comprehensive examination by RCMP forensic identification investigators was conducted on the car that revealed tiny paint chips on the undercarriage," said Sgt. Tim Shields.

"Forensic examination was conducted on those paint chips and it was conclusively determined that the paint originated from the paint on Sherri's bicycle."

Police say they also discovered the outline of a small adhesive sticker on the car's front bumper. That adhesive, they say, was matched to a deer whistler found on the street near McLaughlin's bike.

That evidence, however, does not place the suspect in the car and investigators say it is insufficient to establish a substantial likelihood of conviction.

"In so far as charges, we're an inch shy of a mile," Kerr said. "I can tell you that last inch is going to be hellish but it's in sight."

The suspect has been declared a dangerous offender and is currently serving an indeterminate sentence that may keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.

Kerr has worked on the case since McLaughlin's disappearance and says he's not ready to call it quits.

"I have been a member of the RCMP for 28 years. In that time, I have investigated thousands of offences, but I have lived with this case in my heart for 16 years," he said.

"We are not about to let it go."

PorchlightCanada - September 19, 2009 04:39 PM (GMT)
RCMP seek suspect's help finding body
Last Updated: Thursday, September 17, 2009 | 4:25 PM PT Comments15Recommend22.
CBC News
 The RCMP and the family of a woman missing for 16 years appealed Thursday to the man they believe killed her to tell them where her body is.

Sherri McLaughlin, 20, disappeared Sept. 16, 1993. She was last seen at about 3 a.m. PT riding her bike to her ex-boyfriend's house in Kamloops, B.C.

Her bike, which police say was hit by a car, was found on the side of the road, along with her backpack. McLaughlin herself has never been found.

At a news conference in Kamloops on Thursday, police said they believe McLaughlin was abducted and killed, and they think they know who is responsible.

Police would not reveal the man's name but said he is serving time in the Lower Mainland for unrelated violent sex offences.

"This press conference is, I guess, unlike any other that I've ever participated in because we are not asking for any information," Sgt. Garry Kerr said.

"I know who's responsible. I'm absolutely certain of that. What I do want to do at this time here is to make a personal appeal. The person responsible, you know who you are. If there is a grain of humanity in you, and I know there is, please do the right thing and tell someone."

McLaughlin's family, including her son Stephen, who was only 17 months old when his mother disappeared, appealed to the suspect.

"I really, really want my mom back," Stephen said. "I was only one when she went missing. "Please tell anyone, [it] doesn't matter who it is, just tell somebody."

Kerr, who was an original investigator on the case, said a Crime Stoppers tip led police to impound the vehicle of a known sex offender.

He said paint chips on the car matched Sherri's bike, a plastic deer whistle found at the scene can be tied to the car, and witnesses can place the suspect in Kamloops at the time of her disappearance.

Kerr said there is not enough proof to secure a conviction, but finding McLaughlin's body would bring her family some closure.

oldies4mari2004 - April 24, 2012 06:22 PM (GMT)
Sherri McLAUGHLIN, 20, Missing September 1993, Kamloops BC

April 2, 2011

Wenswritings1999 and Earlier Missing People of BCCriminal, Family, Grief Loss and Bereavement, Kamloops, missing woman, MurderLeave a comment

Sherri was last seen riding her bike to her ex-boyfriends house at 3 AM September 16, 1993, in Kamloops BC. Sherri was a young mother to a 17-month old son that she loved dearly according to her family. Sherri’s bike was found and it was obvious it had been hit by a car. Police believe that Sherri was kidnapped and killed but there has never been a body found.
The RCMP and family are certain they know who could have killed the young mother but so far there has never been an arrest.

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