Police have issued a public warning to women in the sex trade after two “online escorts” were found dead in the same apartment building in New Westminster over the past two weeks.
New Westminster Police responded to the sudden death of 45-year-old Jill Lyons on August 12 just before 10 p.m. at an apartment complex in the 200-block of 11th Street.
Police say the cause of death is unclear and an autopsy was inconclusive. They are awaiting the results of a toxicology test.
On August 25, the body of 48-year-old Karen Nabors was found in another apartment in the same complex.
Police say it appears Nabor’s death comes as a result of foul play.
The women were known to each other and were working as online escorts. They lived in the same apartment building but in different units.
“Investigators know both women were engaged in a high-risk lifestyle and were working as online escorts,” says Sgt. Jennifer Pound of IHIT.
“They were obtaining clients through social media and online sites.”
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is working with the New Westminster Police Department on the investigation.
Pound says they want to warn other women working in the sex trade to be careful.
“It’s our priority to get the message out to those engaging in this high-risk lifestyle to be extra vigilant.”
Neighbours say nothing seemed out of order at the building, but they are worried.
“All I know is that there is police on my floor, and there is a quarantined section, it’s been a fairly quiet building — there has been some parties, some ruckus and drinking, It’s nothing I haven’t seen in an apartment building before, which is why it scares me,” says a neighbour, who did not want to be identified.
“I felt fine to walk and do my laundry and come in late at night and do everything — it’s never been a problem coming in late from school, and it’s never been a concern of mine.”
Police are asking anyone with information to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-IHIT or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
A reddit thread posted today details recent events in the building, including the deaths and break-ins to the parkade.
© Shaw Media, 2013