Despite the fact that 34 years have passed and no evidence of Catherine Mary Brown’s remains have been found, the Vancouver Police Department is committed to finding out what could possibly have happened to forever separate a loving mother from her six small children many years ago.
By all accounts, Catherine Mary Brown, also known as Catherine Sturcz, simply vanished in 1977, but the fact that she was missing went unreported for decades. When information about her disappearance was finally brought forward to police for the first time in October of last year, the VPD Missing Persons Unit vigorously took on the case.
Investigators soon discovered that there was absolutely no trace of Catherine Mary Brown to be found after 1977. Extensive records checks and interviews with her son, Robert Sturcz, and other family members, further convinced us that that we had a strong historical missing person’s case on our hands.
On March 8th, we turned our search efforts to the former family home at 4842 Rupert Lane. We were compelled to find out conclusively if Catherine Brown’s remains were there, and if she had become the victim of a homicide, as alleged by her son Robert.
With the expert assistance of the Simon Fraser University School of Archaeology and the Forensic Sciences Section, the basement floor of 4842 Rupert Street was painstakingly excavated over the course of seven days.
Today our search at the home has concluded and no remains have been found.
Regrettably, we are no closer to finding out what happened to Catherine Mary Brown. We will continue to investigate this as a missing person’s case and also seek to gain a clearer understanding of why Robert Sturcz believes that he witnessed the murder of his mother in their family home so many years ago.
Catherine Mary Brown was Aboriginal and would now be 76 years old.
If anyone has information about this case, they are asked to contact the Vancouver Police Missing Persons Unit at 604-717-2530 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.