HIGHWAY OF TEARS: Macmillen murder solved

After almost 40 years at least one of the Highways of Tears murders has been solved.

Bobby Jack Fowler

After almost 40 years at least one of the Highways of Tears murders has been solved.

Colleen Macmillen was 16 years old in 1973 when she made plans to hitch-hike from her home in Lac la Hache to the home of a friend. No one saw her alive again after she left her home. Instead her body was found about 46 km south of where she was last seen.

Decades later, in 2006, as forensic science became a more precise tool, evidence collected at the scene was sent to a lab. There the DNA of an unknown male was discovered, however no match for that male was found in the data base. In 2012 samples of the DNA were sent to Interpol.

They got a hit.

In May of 2012 CODIS matched the DNA to an American, Bobby Jack Fowler.

Fowler, who died of natural causes in an American prison in May of 2006 at the age of 66, had an extensive violent criminal history including attempted murder, sexual assault, arson, kidnapping and attempted sexual assault.

“Since we got the hit investigators have been pursuing Fowler’s movements over his lifetime,” Inspector Gary Shinkaruk with E-PANA, said.

They spoke to family members, associates and former cell mates among others to determine with certainty where Fowler travelled and when.

A transient, it has been determined that Fowler lived in Prince George in 1974. He worked for Happy’s Roofing, which is now out of business, its records destroyed in a flood.

Police are asking for the public’s help in filling in the blanks of Fowler’s life. They say he stayed in and lived in hotels, liked old cars and drove them till they quit, and frequented bars.

“We believe there are people out there who employed Fowler and socialized with him. We want the public’s help,” he said adding Fowler worked as a roofer and labourer.

Police believe there are other victims of Fowler, people he may have assaulted who survived.

Fowler is suspected in at least two more of the 18 Highway of Tears murders or disappearances E-PANA was created to investigate.

The two women are Gale Weys, who went missing Oct. 19 1973 and whose body was found six months later, and Pamela Darlington who was murdered Nov. 6, 1973.

Though Fowler has been eliminated as a suspect in eight of the files, he remains someone to look at in the other cases.

At the same time, Oregon suspects Fowler of at least four murders and are conducting an investigation as well.

The public is being asked to share any bit of information they have on Fowler, no matter how insignificant it might seem.

People can call the E-PANA tip hotline at 1-877-543-4822 or their local CrimeStoppers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Couple selling fake jewelry in Fraser Lake, say RCMP

A man and woman have been defrauding local residents, offering fake jewelry for sale

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Editorial: The Speaker shouldn’t be an MLA

Time to re-evaluate the Speaker position

Column: condition of cows after winter feeding

The protein content of winter feed is important, says rancher David Zirnhelt

Concept designs for Vanderhoof’s new CNC campus unveiled

Community was invited to provide feedback at a public engagement session Dec. 6

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Famous giant tortoise DNA may hold fountain of youth: UCBO

After Lonesome George’s death he still provides clues to longer life

Oogie Boogie, Sandy Claws and coffin sleigh part of B.C. couple’s holiday display

Chilliwack couple decorates their house for the holidays using Nightmare Before Christmas theme

Most Read