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None of her friends or family know where Wendy Lynn Eistetter is.

But her whereabouts is a subject of broad speculation in the news media and on the rougher streets of Vancouver because of an attack she suffered three years ago.

Fellow prostitutes said their friend, who was stabbed and left bleeding near the Port Coquitlam farm that is being scoured for clues in the disappearance of 50 women, has been taken into protective custody by police.

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Two woman who claim to know Ms. Eistetter said they believe she was living in the New Wings Hotel in Vancouver's squalid Downtown Eastside but has been taken under the wing of the authorities for her safety.

"She was a good person and one of my very best friends," a young woman called Tammy said in a brief interview inside the locked doors of the hotel that community workers said is home to people with nowhere else to go.

Three years ago, working as a prostitute in Vancouver's downtown core, Ms. Eistetter was saved by an elderly couple who found her bleeding heavily on a roadside near the farm co-owned by Robert Pickton.

Mr. Pickton's whereabouts are unknown and he has not been charged in the disappearances of the women, most of whom lived much as Ms. Eistetter did, turning tricks in exchange for money to support their drug habits.

In April, 1997, he was briefly in police custody after being charged with one count of attempting to murder Ms. Eistetter by repeatedly stabbing her with a knife. He was also charged with assaulting her with a kitchen knife, unlawful confinement and aggravated assault. Almost a year later, the charges were stayed.

Ms. Eistetter was so badly injured that she remained in hospital for several weeks. But she later returned to the life on the Downtown Eastside and had been living in the low-rent hotel until just before she disappeared two days ago.

Her family does not know where she is, although they have been in regular contact with her.

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