Book Details Search for Answers on Highway of Tears
Prince George, B.C. – It has been a decade since private investigator Ray Michalko started his quest to find answers to the murdered and missing women along the Highway 16 corridor between Prince George and Prince Rupert.
He has now chronicled his efforts in a soon to be released book “Obstruction of Justice – The Search for Truth on Canada’s Highway of Tears”. The title is rooted in a situation Michalko found himself in when he was following tips and leads on several of the cases “at one point the RCMP sent me a letter suggesting that if I didn’t stop investigating the Ramona Wilson case and a number of others, I would face an obstruction of justice charge.”
Michalko says he has passed along information he has gathered to the RCMP, but says it’s difficult to do that “I feel that once I’ve passed information along, I am obligated to forget about it, and I don’t think they do much with the information I give them, so I prefer to follow it up as far as I can before I pass it along.”
He has been looking at the cases for more than ten years “I started doing some research in late 2005 but I actually didn’t get doing anything on the ground until 2006”. When he started his search there were 7 cases of murdered or missing women along the highway. In 2007, the RCMP would more than double that number by adding some cases from highway 97 , highway 5 and a couple from Northwest Alberta to bring the total to 18 but there are many who live along the Highway 16 corridor who believe the actual number could be more than 30.
Michalko isn’t ready to give away any of the secrets in his book , but says it will “make the public aware of some things they may not be now aware of, and I also think this book may end up getting me more information.”
He has his own theory about some of the cases, “” I believe the majority of them were a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think there’s a possibility that two of the murders may have been committed by the same person, but that’s it.”
He says he continues to work on four of the cases, that of Nicole Hoar, Leah Alishia Germaine, Roxanne Thiara and Alberta Williams “I keep getting tips, and I think as long as I am getting them, I am obligated to follow them up. My gut feeling though, is that unless someone knocks on a police officer’s door and says ‘I did it’, that these cases are probably never going to get solved.”
While the wheels are in motion for a national inquiry into Murdered and Missing women, Michalko says he won’t be taking part “I haven’t got a lawyer, and you would need one to take part in something like that.”
After a decade of following leads, is he any further ahead in knowing who is responsible for the murdered and missing women along this stretch of highway? “Knowing and proving are two different things” says Michalko, ” I would say knowing, yes, proving, no.” And while the book has been written, he isn’t done with his search for answers “I’ve given up thinking about when I am going to be done with it so, I just don’t think about that anymore. I continue to get a lot of calls.”