Highway Of Tears Victim, Gale Ann Weys' Family Issues Plea

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The family of Gale Ann Weys issued a statement Wednesday pleading with the public to help with the remaining unsolved Highway of Tears cases. (Highway of Tears)
The family of Gale Ann Weys issued a statement Wednesday pleading with the public to help with the remaining unsolved Highway of Tears cases. (Highway of Tears)

The sisters of a woman slain on the so-called Highway of Tears are pleading with the public for help, one day after RCMP announced a U.S. convict was likely responsible for her death.

“As a family we truly never thought this open wound would be resolved in any way; we had given up hope,” said Gale Ann Weys’ younger sisters, Denice and Dianne in a statement released on Wednesday. “This new development that offers some answers and relief. Unfortunately, as the police have stated this compelling evidence is not definitive proof. To that end we, Gale's family, are asking people to think back to that time in the early ‘70s.”

Weys was just 19 when her nude, decomposed body was discovered in a water-filled ditch off Highway 5 on April 6, 1974. She was last seen finishing work at a Clearwater, B.C. service station in October the year before. She was believed to have been hitchhiking to her parent's home in Kamloops.

The second eldest in a family of nine, Weys always wanted to be a mother.

“These dreams and many others yet to be created were never fulfilled as life was taken from her, and she from us, violently, painfully and abruptly,” said the family statement.

On Wednesday, RCMP identified dead Oregon convict Bobby Jack Fowler as the murderer of Colleen MacMillen, 16, who disappeared while hitchhiking in 1974. At the same news conference, RCMP said that Fowler is a strong suspect in Wey’s death but there has been no DNA match.

A special RCMP task force has been reviewing the murders and disappearances of 18 women on remote highways in north and central B.C. as far back as 1969.

Weys’ family echoed the police’s request for people who may have been in contact with Fowler, a transient worker with a violent criminal history, in B.C. in the ‘70s to come forward.

“Perhaps you found her clothing and didn't understand what you had found; perhaps you met or worked with this man.

Perhaps he assaulted you in some way, made you feel uncomfortable or maybe he was involved in a bar fight. Anything could be hugely helpful, even if you are not 100 per cent certain it's truly related, or you think it's just trivial. If fear has kept you silent, Fowler can no longer hurt you in any way, so please come forward.

For our family and other families that are going through the loss of a loved one there is still that uncertainty of not knowing; questions and emotions left hanging. If you can help in any way please do so for Gale and all the other women.”

Full text of the Weys family statement after the slideshow

Highway Of Tears - Missing And Murdered Women
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Hello,( I am) Denice Weys and (I am) Dianne Weddell and Gale was our older sister. We have a statement to read on behalf of our family.

Second in a family of 9, Gale was the quintessential older sister, always supportive and protective of her younger siblings. She was a tomboy, fiercely independent and enjoying all types of outdoor adventure and activities, dragging us, her siblings and friends along for the fun. Whether it was teaching us to ride a bike, how to swim, or organizing a hike and exploration of the surrounding hills it was an all for one and one for all attitude. With an infectious laugh and sharp sense of humour she was a natural leader and challenged others to go beyond the limits they had set themselves. She loved amusement park rides and at the local fair or the PNE always cajoled others onto the fastest, highest, scariest rides. Achieving high grades in school, she enjoyed learning and in turn tutoring her younger siblings including teaching them to read before even entering school. A childhood spent in first Brownies, Guides, then Rangers culminated in becoming a leader herself. As a teenager she earned her National Lifeguard Certificate and taught swimming lessons. As a volunteer she worked with and taught special needs children.

Within the Guiding organization Gale traveled a number of places, Expo 66, the Northwest Territories and Mexico City creating a desire to explore more of the world. It was during that trip to Mexico that Gale’s sensitive and compassionate nature became aware of the stark poverty and suffering that exists in the world and instilled a desire to somehow help alleviate it.

Having just moved away from home Gale was living and working in Clearwater exploring a newly independent stage of life as a young adult.

She was working two jobs to save money for a trip to Mexico but always knew that the role of motherhood; her strongest aspiration, was what the future held for her.

These dreams and many others yet to be created were never fulfilled as life was taken from her, and she from us, violently, painfully and abruptly.

As a family we truly never thought this open wound would be resolved in any way; we had given up hope. We are grateful for the ongoing work by the police over the years on Gale's behalf and this new development that offers some answers and relief. Unfortunately, as the police have stated this compelling evidence is not definitive proof. To that end we, Gale's family, are asking people to think back to that time in the early 70's.

If you have any memories of this man Fowler or recollections of these events please contact the police tip line or crime stoppers. Perhaps you found her clothing and didn't understand what you had found; perhaps you met or worked with this man. Perhaps he assaulted you in some way, made you feel uncomfortable or maybe he was involved in a bar fight. Anything could be hugely helpful, even if you are not 100% certain it's truly related, or you think it's just trivial. If fear has kept you silent, Fowler can no longer hurt you in any way, so please come forward. For our family and other families that are going through the loss of a loved one there is still that uncertainty of not knowing; questions and emotions left hanging. If you can help in any way please do so for Gale and all the other women.

This is all we wish to say at this time, we ask if you have further questions please direct them to the police and respect our family's privacy.

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