Sun, Aug 19, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Police identify body found in 1989 with new DNA technique

AFP , VANCOUVER

A mystery corpse found in a house in 1989 was identified on Friday as Lillian Jean O'Dare, a woman who vanished nearly 30 years ago, thanks to a new DNA technique, police said.

Investigators used a new development in DNA science called "Mini-STR" that allows identification of human remains by using extremely tiny amounts of cell tissue, they said.

O'Dare, who police believe was murdered, was sought for five years by a special joint police task force investigating the disappearance of some 65 women, mostly drug addicts working as prostitutes, from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

The task force is best known for findings that led to the prosecution of suspected serial killer Robert William Pickton, an area pig farmer.

O'Dare, the oldest case on the task force's list, was reported missing in 1978. Police said her skeleton lay in a crawl space of a local house for more than a decade before it was found.

Foul play was suspected when O'Dare disappeared. However, the remains found in 1989 could not be identified and the case eventually went cold.

Police also issued a photograph of O'Dare standing with a friend, named Diana, who is now being sought for questioning.

The police task force has found the remains or belongings of 31 of the 65 women on their list on a farm co-owned by Pickton and his family.

Pickton, 57, is charged with murdering 26 of those women. He is currently on trial for six of those murder cases, with a second trial to follow.

His case has made world headlines with its gruesome evidence, including severed heads and other body parts found on his farm by police.

While Pickton is not implicated in O'Dare's suspected murder, he remains the only person charged in the missing women case.

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