A large search is underway in Vancouver's VanDusen Botanical Garden in connection to the death of Chelsea Poorman.
Police began canvassing an area within the 55-acre garden in the heart of Vancouver early Saturday after a drone mapped it on May 19, and a follow-up search was expected to be conducted with cadaver dogs to search designated areas on May 26.
"We are conducting an ongoing investigation that began the day Chelsea was reported missing," says Vancouver Police spokesperson Const. Steve Addison. "We have shared details about today's efforts with Chelsea's family."
Poorman, a 24-year-old Indigenous woman disappeared on Sept. 6 2020 after last being seen on Granville Street.
Her partial skeletal remains were discovered outside a vacant multi-million-dollar home on Granville Street in Vancouver's upscale Shaughnessy neighbourhood on April 22, 2022. Investigators believe Poorman died on the property the night she disappeared.
Police ruled her death not suspicious shortly after her remains were found. However, Poorman's family believes she was murdered.
Her father, Mike Kiernan, believes her disappearance and death did not get a "proper investigation" because she is Indigenous.
"I don't think for one second that she lay behind that house," he says, admitting he had broken in to investigate the grounds himself. "They didn't look for her; they didn't find her. It was a contractor who found her."
The entrance to VanDusen Botanical Gardens is just over one kilometre from where Poorman's body was discovered.
It's not clear how long the search is expected to last.
Anyone who has information about Poorman's disappearance who has not yet come forward is asked to contact the VPD Major Crime Section at 604-717-2500.