The fate of a missing Filipina in B.C. has yet to be known.
In September 2016, the RCMP in Williams Lake, B.C. sought the publics’ assistance in locating a missing couple, Mihai Vornicu and his Filipina wife Marie Olarte.
About a month earlier on August 8 that year, Vornicu, 44 years old, and Olarte, 58 years old, were reported missing to the Williams Lake RCMP.
An acquaintance of the couple, Robert Dragoescu, was also reported missing the day police announced Vornicu and Olarte’s disappearance.
Vornicu is Romanian in origin, and Olarte is originally from the Philippines.
The initial investigation determined that Vornicu’s 2005 Volvo C50 station wagon bearing BC Plate CH096V was found parked on Mackenzie Avenue North in Williams Lake on July 26, 2016. The vehicle was towed and there had been no attempts to retrieve the vehicle from the impound lot, since that date.
The investigation to date has determined that the couple were in the Mission and Maple Ridge area in the weeks before they disappeared, and that they have property in the Williams Lake area as well as links to Vancouver Island.
Olarte has health conditions that may require medical monitoring, which gives rise to further concerns for her wellbeing since their disappearance.
In a report by Global News on February 3, 2017, the couple’s son Paul, 18, pleaded for anyone with information related to the mysterious disappearance of his parents in Northern B.C. six months ago.
Paul Vornicu’s Filipino mother and Romanian father met in Canada before raising Paul in Toronto.
The family moved to the Lower Mainland when Paul was 12 years old.
“We were just a quiet, nice family,” Paul Vornicu said from the Summerland home of a friend whom he is now staying with.
But last summer Paul’s world was turned upside down when his parents, who had just decided to move to Williams Lake, disappeared.
“I was freaking out, I didn’t know where she was or what they were doing, they were supposed to call me as soon as they got up there and it shouldn’t have taken them so long,” he said in the Global News report.
RCMP North District media relations officer, Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, said in an emailed statement to Global News the missing persons case remains active and the North District Major Crime unit is investigating.
“It’s my parents, they were my main supports in my life and now I just don’t know where to go really,” Vornicu said.
Court records show Mihai Vornicu has had trouble with police in the past, according to Global News.
Global News reported that in 2012 he was convicted of forging credit cards, possessing stolen credit cards and fraud.
He was charged with assaulting a peace officer but pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of resisting arrest one year later.
Paul Vornicu said in the Global News report that he was kept in the dark about his father’s past.
“The worst part about my parents missing is not knowing where they went. People keep telling me ‘oh maybe they are going to come back, maybe they just left you,’ and my mom would never do that to me, I know she wouldn’t,” he said.
A Postmedia report on January 31, 2017 stated that Olarte’s husband Mihai Vornicu was allegedly involved in organized crime and drug trafficking.
Postmedia learned that in the months before Vornicu disappeared, a Toronto Police Service disciplinary tribunal heard about his alleged connections to marijuana trafficking and a drug-related kidnapping.
In 2005, an acquaintance of Toronto Police Constable Ioan-Florin Floria allegedly reported to the officer that he had been kidnapped and tortured. The Toronto police say there is a publication ban on the identity of the purported kidnap victim, who tended marijuana plants for Vornicu.