Friday, September 19, 2008

ARTICLE #1) City woman missing in Vegas

City woman missing in Vegas
TOP STORY: The Kamloops Daily News by Jason Hewlett

The family of a missing Kamloops woman fears she may have fallen in with the Las Vegas underworld.

Jessie Foster, 21, quit her job in Calgary about a year ago. She had a quick visit with her mother, Glendene Grant, and sisters Crystal Foster and Jennee Grant in Kamloops before travelling to the U.S.

“She had been seeing a guy in Florida but left him and decided to go to Las Vegas. She liked it and decided to stay,” Glendene said Monday.

She sat in the kitchen of her Dominion Street home wearing a heart-covered shirt Jessie made for her when she was a little girl. Crystal and Jennee sat beside her.

Glendene and Crystal spoke nervously, explaining the details behind Jessie’s disappearance three weeks ago.

Jessie met a man shortly after arriving in Las Vegas. He had a steady supply of money and a lifestyle full of fast cars and all-night parties. This was an attractive lure for her daughter, Glendene said.

Jessie would call either Glendene or Crystal three times a week. She sometimes talked about violent arguments with the man. The calls ended abruptly March 27.

Glendene made repeated calls to a man who maintained that Jessie packed up and moved out without warning.

Jessie’s father, Dwight Foster of Calgary, hired a Las Vegas private investigator to track down his daughter. Files have been opened with Kamloops RCMP and the North Las Vegas Police Department, Glendene said.

Mike Kirkman, an investigator with Las Vegas Detectives, said he has learned Jessie’s boyfriend may be a pimp separated from his wife, a known prostitute.

The man has a past conviction for domestic violence against the wife, who allegedly threatened Jessie on numerous occasions, Kirkman said in a telephone interview.

Kirkman, a retired police officer, said he believes Jessie is in a situation she has no way of getting out of, he said.

“I think she’s fallen in with the wrong crowd and I have serious concerns that she’s in big trouble,” he said.

“When you’ve got a young girl who is 21 years old running in the wrong crowd, they think they know the world but they don’t. They don’t realize how tough people in this industry can be.”

Kirkman and the police department have questioned the man, who has since put his house up for sale and “gone on vacation in California,” he said.

Foster said he’s worried sick about Jessie. He witnessed her side of the relationship with the man when she stayed with him in Calgary a few months ago.

The man called Jessie 30 to 40 times a day. Many of the calls ended in furious arguments, he said.

Foster called the man after Jessie disappeared. The man told him she had left “because she got a better deal,” he said.

Glendene doesn’t want to believe her daughter has fallen in with pimps and prostitutes.

“This isn’t Jessie’s lifestyle. She would not not call us,” she said and placed her head in her hands.

“This doesn’t make sense. I can’t keep my thoughts straight. It’s all screwed up.”

Jessie grew up in Kamloops and graduated from Kam High, now South Kamloops secondary. Glendene knows her daughter has kept in touch with her old friends and hopes she may have contacted one of them.

“She has friends on MSN and Hotmail, friends she’s had for years. We’re hoping people may have heard or seen something,” she said.

Crystal said her sister would talk to her about anything, even stuff she wouldn’t tell her parents. She believes Jessie would call if she could.

“Even if it was something she was ashamed of she would call,” Crystal said.

A spokesperson with the North Las Vegas Police Department could not be reached for comment.


No comments: