British Columbia

Police ID body found in Prince George

Mounties in Prince George, B.C., have released the identity of a woman found dead in a park last weekend.

Mounties in Prince George, B.C., have released the identity of a woman found dead in a park last weekend.

The remains of Cynthia Frances Maas, 35, were found in L.C. Gunn Park on Oct. 8.

Maas was last seen Sept. 10 in the area of Juniper Street and 19 Avenue. She was reported missing by family members and friends on Sept. 23 after she failed to check in with them.

Police say Maas was involved in drugs and prostitution, and say her death has been classified as a homicide.

"We do want the general public to remain vigilant, in particular our more vulnerable citizens," said RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.

"The sole and most important fact that has been established is that Cynthia Maas is a victim. Our duty and responsibility is to bring to justice, whomever is responsible for her death."

Moskaluk said more than 40 investigators are working to find Maas's killer.

"There is nothing more that these investigators want, and we know that the community wants to bring to justice the person or persons responsible for her death."

Because Maas's body was found in the vicinity of the so-called Highway of Tears, the 800-kilometre stretch of Highway 16 that runs between Prince George and Prince Rupert, it has renewed calls for greater vigilance in the area.

There are 18 unsolved cases involving women reported missing or found dead along the highway, and no arrests have been made since the first case 38 years ago.

"Things are not going good in the North," said Mavis Erickson, the co-ordinator of Highway of Tears program. She works as a liaison between victims' families, police and the government.

"Women continue to go missing in the North and the numbers just keep rising and so far, there hasn't been a case that has been solved, so we don't know if there is a serial killer or what the circumstances are in the North."

Erickson said Maas's death should serve as a warning to other women in northern B.C.

"We are not educating our women and girls to be careful and be vigilant about their own safety. You know, there seems to be a steady number of women going missing and murdered in the Prince George area."

Anyone with information on Maas's death  is asked to contact the Prince George RCMP at 250-561-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.