Police want to know more about the man who killed one teenage hitchhiker along the Highway of Tears and is strongly suspected of killing more.
Bobby Jack Fowler has ties to Prince George but police know little about the time he has spent in B.C. over a span of 40 years and they're asking the public's help to find out more.
"We have been able to create a timeline for Fowler's movements over the past 40 years – but it is not complete. Our challenge has been determining with certainty Fowler's history here in British Columbia," said Insp. Gary Shinkaruk, a lead investigators with the RCMP's E-Pana.
Fowler died of lung cancer in an Oregon prison at age 67 while serving 16 years for a 1995 kidnapping, assault and attempted rape in Newport, Oregon.
DNA evidence allowed police to determine that Fowler is responsible for the 1973 murder of 16-year-old Colleen MacMillen who went missing while hitchhiking on Highway 97 near Lac La Hache.
Police strongly suspect Fowler also killed Gale Ann Weys of Clearwater in April, 1974, when she was 19 years old. They also suspect Fowler of killing Pamela Darlington, whose body was found near the boat launch in Pioneer Park on Nov. 7, 1973.
Investigators are asking for information from possible witnesses during a press conference in Kamloops Wednesday alongside Weys's family members.
They hope anyone who recognizes Fowler as someone they knew over the past 40 years can shed light on his movements.
Police, however, have already pieced together much of Fowler's life. He was born and spent most of his life in the U.S., has an extensive violent and criminal history with convictions in several American states for crimes including attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, sexual assault, arson, kidnapping, attempting sexual assault and firearm offences.
He has no Canadian criminal record.
Fowler worked in Prince George in 1974 for a roofing company called Happy's Roofing – a company no longer in business. The company's records no longer exist.
"While there are many things we don't we know – what we do know is that he was transient and travelled between U.S. states and even countries in a day," said Shinkaruk.
He worked odd jobs in areas like roofing and general labour. He lived in motels or rented and drove old cars. He was a known user of speed and methamphetamine and an admitted alcoholic.
He was known to pick up hitchhikers, he frequented bars and restaurants and was violent toward men and women.
"He was of the belief that women who hitchhiked and drank and went to bars desired to be violently sexually assaulted," said Shinkaruk.
Rob Bovett, the District Attorney for Lincoln County in Newport, Oregon, is investigating Fowler's involvement in the killings of Melissa Sanders, 17, and Sheila Swanson 19, whose bodies were found in 1992.
Bovett also said the killings of Newport residents Jennifer Esson, 15 and Kara Leas, 16, has similarities to the Highway of Tears case.
"We are asking you to think back to the '70s, '80s and '90s and your own memories of that time period, then have a look at his photos, and please call us with any information you may have about him," said Shinkaruk.
Anyone with information is asked to call E-Pana at 1-877-543-4822.