EDMONTON — The family of an aboriginal woman missing for the last decade says they are heartbroken but relieved that her remains have been found in Alberta.
Delores Dawn Brower, who went by the nickname Spider, was a sex-trade worker last seen hitching a ride in Edmonton in 2004. The 33-year-old was reported missing by her family a year later.
RCMP said Tuesday that remains discovered last week in a wooded area near Leduc, south of Edmonton, have been linked to Brower through dental records.
“While we are saddened … there is a sense of thankfulness as well. We loved Delores and are grateful to have some closure,” said a statement from her family.
“While we are grieving with some sense of relief, we know there are many families who have yet to find the answers they are seeking.”
Mounties were not yet calling the case a homicide.
Insp. Stacey Talbot said a medical examiner has been unable to determine Brower’s cause of death but tests are ongoing.
Brower was found in the same area — within eight kilometres — where the remains of two other women were located, she said.
The body of Katie Sylvia Ballantyne, also a sex-trade worker, was discovered in July 2003. The 40-year-old Edmonton woman had been reported missing a few months earlier when she didn’t make a planned trip to Saskatchewan to visit her children.
Amber Tuccarro, 20, of Fort McMurray, Alta., was last seen visiting the Edmonton area in August 2010. RCMP have said she was staying at a hotel near the airport when she left her toddler with a friend and caught a ride into the city with an unknown man.
Her family reported her missing two days later and, in 2011, police said developments led them to turn the case over to Project Kare, a provincial task force formed in 2003 to investigate missing or murdered sex-trade workers. The team now works out of the RCMP’s historical homicide unit.
Tuccarro’s remains were found in April 2012.
Talbot said Brower was last seen on May 13, 2004, by Project Kare officers compiling a registry of high-risk persons. She had been standing at an Edmonton intersection and caught a ride heading west.
The Metis woman had long brown hair and brown eyes, stood about five-foot-three inches tall and weighed 110 pounds. She had scars on both forearms.
Talbot wouldn’t say whether officers believe the deaths of the three woman are linked.
“All investigational avenues and possibilities are being explored as we move these investigations forward.”
She appealed for the public’s help in tracking down more information on Brower’s last movements.
“Because it did happen such a long time ago, anyone that may have not come forward … perhaps is now in a better place and can remember.”