CA: Slain prostitute wanted to be a nurse

Drug addiction, criminal record set young woman on path that led to deadly streets

Ryan Cormier, With files from Trish Audette, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Tuesday, May 13 2008

EDMONTON – When she was a teenager working in a care home in Fort St. John, B.C., Ellie May Meyer liked to take care of people.

One Christmas, she made her mother take her shopping for a foot-tall Christmas tree, which she later decorated.

She then took the tree to the care centre where she worked and placed it on the nightstand next to an elderly woman’s bed.

“It was the saddest little tree I ever saw, but the old lady and Ellie were so happy,” said Meyer’s mother, Evanelina.

“Ellie said that the old lady had no family that cared, but she did.”

Meyer wanted to become a nurse and work with the elderly full-time, but the problems that would eventually push her to the streets of Edmonton got in the way. She had a criminal record at the time, and that blocked her path.

“She just seemed to give up, as if there were no more chances out there for her,” Evanelina Meyer said in an e-mail interview.

Ellie May Meyer’s body was discovered on May 7, 2005, near the intersection of Highway 21 and Township Road 540. She was last seen on April 1, 2005, and investigators believe she was killed one to two weeks before she was found.

Her death remains an open Project Kare file.

Meyer was 33 at the time of her death and had been working the streets for seven years.

When she was 19, she moved to Edmonton with a boyfriend. Sometime later she began to use drugs and became involved in the sex trade, though her family never knew many details.

“She never told us she was on the streets. We knew that she was into drug dealing and drug pushing and that was only because she ended up in prison,” said her mother.

“We knew what was going on, but could never get her to admit it. She never wanted us to know what she was up to, she didn’t want to disappoint us.”

Meyer kept in touch with her family and never missed a Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or birthday

“She would say how much she missed her family and needed to see us. I would send her a bus ticket and she would call and say she would be on the night bus, but would never show up.”

Evanelina said she last spoke to her daughter three weeks before she disappeared.

When the street-savvy Meyer turned up dead, fellow prostitutes said they were scared, and some realized if it could happen to her, they were all at risk.

“She was a beautiful person, inside and outside,” said Melissa, a friend. “She was a really good friend, She would give you the shirt off her back, if she could.”

Meyer, who was born in Quebec and was bilingual, had a younger sister and brother. She had two children. Her daughter died shortly after she was born. Her son was given up for adoption a few years ago.

“Ellie was a very good person,” said Evanelina Meyer.

“I had always hoped that something or someone could rescue her from the life she was in, but that never happened. As parents, her father and I tried everything, but nothing worked.”

rcormier@thejournal.canwest.com

© The Edmonton Journal 2008

Original at Edmonton Journal

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