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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May, 2005, 21:51 GMT 22:51 UK
New Canada pig farm death charges
Police searching for bodies in Mission, British Columbia
Police have examined thousands of pieces of forensic evidence
A Canadian pig farmer accused of being a serial killer faces a further 12 charges of murder.

Robert Pickton, who ran a pig farm in a Vancouver suburb, now stands accused of killing a total of 27 women.

The latest charges followed a painstaking and lengthy search of the land and farm buildings where the remains of 31 women have been found.

Most of the women 55-year-old Mr Pickton is accused of killing vanished over a period of 25 years.

Mr Pickton has been in custody since his arrest in February 2002.

Nearly all of the women were linked to prostitution and drugs in Vancouver's poor downtown eastside neighbourhood.

Brick by brick

One relative, who learnt that there was not enough evidence to file a charge against Mr Pickton for the murder of her sister, said she was disappointed.

"We're back to square one," she said, "It feels like a punch in the gut".

Investigators have spent nearly two years searching the grounds of the farm near Vancouver, pulling down buildings brick by brick and sifting through tons of soil and debris.

More than 100,000 DNA swabs as well as thousands of pieces of forensic evidence have been examined.

Although no date has yet been set, Mr Pickton is not expected to go on trial until later this year or even early 2006. If found guilty, Mr Pickton would be Canada's worst serial killer.




SEE ALSO:
Fresh 'pig farm killings' charges
15 Dec 03 |  Americas
'Human meat' alert at pig farm
11 Mar 04 |  Americas


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