The name of one more victim has been engraved into the growing list of street prostitutes found dead in the Edmonton area.


Leanne Lori Benwell, 27, was identified yesterday as the woman found on June 21 near Wetaskiwin, Alta., southwest of the city.

Her decomposing body was tucked into a grassy area near a fence line, just off Highway 795 and Township Road 470, where police believe her remains had been located for at least six weeks.

The RCMP believe she was leading a high-risk lifestyle involving prostitution and drug use, often being seen near 118 Ave. and 95 St. before she was reported missing on April 15.

Benwell’s mother had run a high-profile missing persons campaign, and last saw her daughter on March 12 when she appeared to have been recently beaten.

“It’s terrifying,” her mother told the CBC last month. “My worst fear is that she’ll show up dead, but I hope that’s not the case.”

Project KARE, a police unit that investigates homicide and missing persons cases involving high-risk lifestyles, will be involved in the case, said RCMP spokesman Cpl. Wayne Oakes.

“It will afford (investigators) the earliest possible opportunity to identify any potential links and commonalities that may be already existing in any other cases,” he said.

He added while there are no known links at present, they can’t be ruled out.