A supporter holds a poster of missing woman, Shaelene Bell, as family speaks with media at the end of McSween Road in Chilliwack on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

A supporter holds a poster of missing woman, Shaelene Bell, as family speaks with media at the end of McSween Road in Chilliwack on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

No link between missing B.C. women; RCMP dispel ‘rumours’ over white van abductions

Social media posts repeated unsubstantiated claim a white van was involved in series of abductions

Amid two high-profile cases of women who disappeared in the Lower Mainland, sparking abduction concerns on social media, RCMP stress that these missing persons files are not connected.

Trina Hunt, 48, was last seen at her home in the Heritage Mountain neighbourhood in Port Moody in mid-January, while Chilliwack mother Shaelene Keeler Bell, 23, has been missing since Jan. 30.

“There is nothing to indicate that people are being abducted or there is an increase in reported cases,” reads a BC RCMP statement released Feb. 8.

“There is also nothing to indicate any links in recent missing person cases identified in Port Moody, Chilliwack or other areas of the province. The circumstances in each investigation are different.”

The latest statement follows two others released by Coquitlam RCMP in recent days, one of which referred to social media posts inferring there’s a connection between missing persons cases.

Over the weekend, hundreds of posts circulated online warning of an unsubstantiated “series of abductions” linked to a white van – with some of the posts suggesting that people arm themselves.

When a person goes missing, the Real Time Intelligence Centre, created in 2014, is mandated to review and identify links and trends between those cases and other criminal activity. The agency said while there have been three recent incidents in which a person said they were followed by a white van, no further links or trends have been identified. A fourth incident is still under investigation, involving a man being forced into a white van.

Police are urging everyone to reach out to their local detachment for accurate information, and to report any suspicious incidents to officers – not on social media.

“We appreciate people care about each other and simply want to communicate what they believe is accurate information about their own safety.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jovin Walkus and Alayah Mack enjoy the Centennial Pool in summer 2020. (Geneva Walkus photo)
CCRD receives more funding for Centennial Pool project

The total funding for the project is now over $4 million

Provincial funding in the amount of $300,000 has been announced for the Cariboo Regional District’s plans to improve the Anahim Lake Airport runway. (CRD photo)
$300,000 provincial funding to fuel Anahim Lake Airport runway upgrade

The recovery grant is one of 38 announced to support jobs in rural communities

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The school is very proud of these students (pictured, left to right): Halim Demir (holding Grace Valdez’ gold certificate); Lauren McIlwain, Shayleen Mack, Jaymen Schieck, Kyle Doiron, and Finn Carlson (photo submitted)
SAMS students excel in international competition

The SAMS team swept their category this year; all six participants received awards

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

Accident rates, injury claims and court costs have driven ICBC into deficit in recent years. (Black Press Media)
Judge rejects taking lawyers out of minor ICBC injury cases

Ruling the latest setback for B.C. NDP’s insurance cost reforms

Most Read