Friday, September 19, 2008

ARTICLE #22) Texas Gate to hold benefit for woman missing in Vegas

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Texas Gate to hold benefit for woman missing in Vegas
The Cochrane Eagle by Sarah Junkin

A grief-stricken Calgary woman whose sister has been missing for more than two months is hoping a Cochrane fundraiser will help pay the private investigator her family has hired.

Jessie Foster, 21, vanished in Las Vegas last March. The last known person to talk to her was her sister Crystal Foster.

Crystal said Jesse had been living in the Nevada city for a year, and she had moved into the apartment of Peter Todd, 39, a man who claimed to police that Jessie had simply moved out, taking all of her belongings.

But since Jessie was in the habit of calling family members in Calgary and Kamloops almost every day, it didn’t take long for them to realize something was wrong.

“I think he knows where she is,” said Crystal of Todd, adding that since approximately 200 people are reported missing in Las Vegas every month, “police don’t take it very serious.”

The family hired private investigator Mike Kirkman who quickly uncovered the disturbing information that Jessie, once a straight-A student, had been working at an escort agency and had at one point been so badly beaten she’d been hospitalized. Kirkman also found out that Todd was married to a convicted prostitute and had a spousal abuse conviction in his past.

“He may be the only person who knows where she is, but whatever she’s doing, she’s doing against her will,” said Jessie’s heart-broken sister.

To help pay for the investigator, Crystal said a Cochrane friend offered to help organize a benefit at the Texas Gate Eatery and Saloon at 9 p.m. June 16.

A local band, the Phantoms, will be playing and although there will be no cover charge, there will be 50-50 draws, drink specials and other fundraising initiatives.

Crystal said a DVD of Jessie with family and friends will run throughout the evening as well.

“It might not raise a lot, but every little bit helps,” she said.

Crystal, an oil rig cook, admits that though she tries to remain optimistic about her sister’s fate, it’s not easy.

“Sometimes it’s hard to live a normal life,” she said. “You’re trying to go on and all of a sudden you say to yourself, ‘How can I live a normal life? How can I be doing this?’ It’s hard. That’s why being busy with the fundraising helps.”

Crystal said she’s also consulted with a psychic.

“She told me Jessie’s alive and she’s okay,” she said. “But she needs some help to come home.”

For more information visit and To contribute to the Jessica Foster trust fund, visit any CIBC branch, account No. 27412, transit No. 00050.

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