So many women have disappeared along the 837-mile stretch of Highway 16 that cuts through the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia that people have started calling it "The Highway of Tears," reports the Daily Beast. The latest victim, 20-year-old Madison Scott, disappeared in May from a popular camping spot on a lake near the highway, leaving her tent and truck behind. “The whole town is still in complete shock and no one knows what to think,” says a local reporter.
Over the last three decades, 18 women have gone missing on the highway, according to police—although local aboriginal leaders say the true number is closer to 43. Many of the victims have been aboriginal, but it was a white woman, Nicole Hoar, who went missing in 2002 that really set off the media and spurred talk of a serial killer—or killers. “Whether it is one person or whether it is a few individuals, it is really open to speculation,” says a director for the Missing Women Commission. “It could just be that some sick people up there realize that women hitchhiking alone are easy pickings." (Read more British Columbia stories.)