Police are looking for information that might connect a young woman who went missing from Clearwater in 1973 with Bobby Jack Fowler.
Gale Weys, age 19, was last seen hitchhiking from Clearwater, BC on Oct. 16, 1973. She was on her way to her parents’ home in Kamloops after working her shift at a local garage.
Her decomposing corpse was found nine miles south of Clearwater on April 6, 1974.
Fowler is an American who police believe responsible for the murder of 16-year-old Colleen MacMillen in 1974. She was last seen while hitchhiking on Highway 97 near Lac La Hache on her way to a friend’s house.
MacMillen’s body was later found beside a logging road 46 kilometers south of where she was last seen.
Interpol linked DNA found with MacMillen’s body to Fowler, who died in a U.S. prison in 2006.
The MacMillen case is one of several included in Project E-PANA, which began in the fall of 2005. The Task Force was created as a result of the BC RCMP Criminal Operations ordering the review and investigation of a series of unsolved murders with links to Highway 16 – sometimes better known as the “Highway of Tears.”
Project E-PANA is comprised of 18 cases involving 13 homicides and five missing women investigations. The cases range in date from 1969 to 2006 and involve women and girls who were involved in activity like hitchhiking and were last seen or were found within a mile from three B.C. Highways – Hwy 16, Hwy 97 and Hwy 5.
Fowler has been eliminated from as a suspect in eight of E-PANA files. However he remains a person of interest in the remaining cases.
These include Gale Weys and 19-year-old Kamloops resident Pamela Darlington, who was murdered and found in Pioneer Park on Nov. 7, 1973.
“We believe there are people out there who employed Fowler, worked with him, socialized with him or even waited on him while he was in British Columbia,” said Insp. Gary Shinkaruk, Officer in Charge of BC RCMP Major Crime, Special Projects. “We are asking you to think back to the 70s, 80s and 90s – and your own memories of that that time period, then have a look at his photos, and please call us with any information you may have about him.”
Police say Fowler was transient and traveled between U.S. states and even countries in a day. He worked odd jobs in areas like roofing and general labor. He stayed and lived in motels or rented, and liked old cars that he drove until they quit. He frequented bars and restaurants and was violent toward men and women. He picked up hitchhikers.