A haunting road for hitchhikers

Saturday, August 29, 2009 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

A sinuous stretch of British Columbia’s Highway 16, which snakes from Prince Rupert’s rocky coast to Prince George in B.C.’s northern interior, has become synonymous with heartbreak and grisly mysteries.

The lonely, 718-kilometre winding ribbon of road is the only driving route connecting the string of isolated communities nearby. It passes through rugged mountainous and forested terrain, most of it deserted.

Buses on the rural thoroughfare are non-existent, the train often expensive and vulnerable hitchhikers many – even decades after an epidemic of disappearances and murders began, spawning a trail of grainy headshots and missing-person posters plastered on telephone poles across the province, but little in the way of answers or closure.

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