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

Interior Health has issued an overdose alert for 100 Mile House.
Interior Health issues overdose alert for 100 Mile House

Health officials encourage users to be careful and spread the word.

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Beverly DeSantis is hoping to become the new Conservative nominee to replace retiring MP Cathy McLeod. (Photo submitted)
Beverley DeSantis is hoping to become the new Conservative nominee to replace retiring MP Cathy McLeod. (Photo submitted)
Conservative race heats up to replace Cathy McLeod

Beverley DeSantis seeks the MP nomination

Fall in Cariboo by Katalin Kovacs showcases her favourite season in the Cariboo in all its vivid colours. (Photo submitted)
Wranglers fan donates two paintings to auction

Katalin Kovacs has moved to Merritt but Wranglers still close to her heart.

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read