Investigator changes tack

A private investigator who’s been chasing leads on the Highway of Tears missing and murdered women’s cases for seven years

  • Feb. 8, 2012 6:00 p.m.

A private investigator who’s been chasing leads on the Highway of Tears missing and murdered women’s cases for seven years now is taking on a new approach.

Ray Michalko of Valley Pacific Investigations is taking a page out of a University of Western Ontario professor’s book in hopes of solving at least one of the cases.

“I’m working on putting together a collaboration of a small group of people – four including myself – to travel north for a week and see what we can come up with on the official highway cases as well as that of Madison Scott’s Vanderhoof case,” said Michalko in an e-mail.

He’s adapting  the idea from Faculty of Information and Media Studies professor Mike Arntfield at the University of Western Ontario, who is inviting his students to take part in an investigative society to examine cold cases.

Michalko’s group includes a writer from Washington state, a retired deputy sheriff, also from Washington, and a retired homicide investigator from California.

The trio is interested in volunteering their time and donating their expenses, said Michalko.

“I chose the new approach out of personal frustration with the lack of results and after seeing the [professor’s approach] thought ‘what a great idea,’” he said.

“All three have a lot of investigative experience, but from different backgrounds than mine, and so I also hope to use this as a personal learning experience,” said Michalko, about the three people he hopes to work with on the cases.

He declined to give their names at this time.

“As to what I hope comes out of all of this, I hope that at the very least, one of the cases gets solved,” he said.

Michalko is still planning how his new approach will work and he’s thinking of travelling to the northwest this spring but isn’t sure if he or one of his team will come to Terrace.

Michalko, an ex-RCMP officer, has been investigating the various cases along Hwy 16 since early 2006.

He began his own investigation into the missing women’s cases out of personal interest with a couple of theories and some extra time.

He has travelled to the north several times, talking to people here in Terrace, in Smithers and in Prince George to name a few places.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District of Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen recently photographed the town’s original cemetery — now completely overgrown — among the trails behind the Vanderhoof Museum and Visitor Centre. (Gerry Thiessen photo)
Mayor, historical society examine ways to mark Vanderhoof’s original cemetery

“It is a part of our history and we don’t want that history to evaporate,” Thiessen said.

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

There have been 23 cases of reported cases of COVID-19 in the Nechako Lakes Health Area

’Herbert’ Shane Hartman with his daughter Isla. (Shane Hartman Facebook photo)
Love for daughter and drumming leads to author’s first book

Shane Hartman spent very spare moment writing and illustrating Isla’s New Drum

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Most Read