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

Photo: Surrey RCMP
Surrey RCMP arrests two boys, age 16, during dial-a-dope investigation in Whalley

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said one boy is ‘alleged to have been in possession of a loaded handgun at the time of his arrest’

A barrel racer is seen at the Cloverdale Rodeo. (Photo courtesy Cloverdale Rodeo)
Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair postponed until later in 2021

Rodeo president say both public safety related to the pandemic and the removal of border restrictions will determine new date

Bob Jadis, along with a team of painters and an etch artist, are selling firefly lanterns with 100 per cent of the funds allocated to the Sources South Surrey White Rock Food Bank. (Contributed photo)
Lanterns flying off the shelves as White Rock fundraiser gains momentum

Decorated bottles are on sale for $50, with all of the money donated to the food bank

A proposed multi-family, multi-building development in east White Rock was the subject of a public hearing Monday evening. (City of White Rock image)
Pros and cons of White Rock housing development debated at virtual public hearing

Affordable housing need, traffic concerns among reasons cited for and against Beachway project

The new Phoenix Flame BBQ truck serves as a “Mobile Community Kitchen” in the Surrey area. (Photo: phoenixsociety.com)
New ‘Phoenix Flame BBQ’ truck now mobile with food for Surrey’s ‘hard-to-reach populations’

Also launched: Another Surrey Honda Raffle to help the Surrey-based agency and others

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

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

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Most Read