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The mother and brother of the so-called Abbotsford killer who terrorized the British Columbia city for several months in the mid-1990s will receive a $10,000 reward for turning him in, Abbotsford City Council decided in a unanimous vote yesterday.

"We did not have any other option," Abbotsford Mayor George Ferguson said in an interview after the meeting.

The criteria for the reward, set by the city, did not prohibit family members from receiving the money, he said.

To maintain its credibility, the city had to honour its commitment to pay the reward to whoever stepped forward with the information that led to a conviction, he added.

"If [the killer's family members]had not come forward, we might still be out there looking for the murderer."

Terry Driver was sentenced in 1995 to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for sexually attacking and killing 16-year-old Tanya Smith and beating her friend Misty Cockerill.

He also assaulted a mentally ill woman living in a group home and hit another women over the head with a bat, fracturing her skull and causing permanent brain damage.

As he went about committing the crimes, he taunted police with boasts that he would never be arrested. He also vandalized Ms. Smith's grave, moving the headstone to a radio station parking lot.

Paying the reward to Mr. Driver's mother Audrey Tighe and brother Don Driver has stirred some controversy in this community in the Fraser Valley, 70 kilometres east of Vancouver.

Critics said the city should not pay "blood money."

Some people were also upset after Mr. Driver's mother said she regretted turning in her son because he was not receiving proper treatment in jail for his mental illness.

Mr. Ferguson said he had heard from Ms. Smith's aunt, who thought the money should be paid to Mr. Driver's family.

Mr. Driver's arrest enabled the family, and many people in the community, to relax a bit, he said. They did not have to worry that someone was still out there and could kill someone else.