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Road signs on Highway 16, also know as the Highway of Tears, just outside Smithers, B.C. (JOHN LEHMANN/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)
Road signs on Highway 16, also know as the Highway of Tears, just outside Smithers, B.C. (JOHN LEHMANN/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

Police collecting cabbies' DNA in Highway of Tears probe Add to ...

Police in Prince George, B.C. are collecting DNA samples from cab drivers, reportedly as part of their investigation into the dozens of murders and disappearances of women in the northern part of the province.

Since the late 1960s, more than two dozen women have been killed or have gone missing in the area, many of them along the remote stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, which has been dubbed the Highway of Tears.

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The RCMP has been investigating 18 of the cases under the name Project E-PANA.

In an effort to generate leads, police have been taking DNA samples from taxi drivers in the city, but declined to discuss the practice late Monday evening.

"There's more to it than that," said Corporal Craig Douglas of the local detachment. "I can't say anything without checking with the right people - I want to make sure I'm not compromising someone's investigation."

A dispatcher with one cab company, who declined to give her name, said police had also been taking fingerprints from the company's drivers.

"It's been going on for a little while here," she said.

Police have previously said they were looking to see if new technology in DNA analysis could generate fresh leads on the old cases.

 

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