Stories from the Streets
"We all had hopes and dreams. Things didn’t pan out, so we’re out here. Every girl has a sad story to tell."
— Kelly, current sex worker
Leaving behind friends, family and her young son, Maria Ciciolla moved from Montreal to Calgary looking for a fresh start.
But things didn't go quite as planned. Due to unknown circumstances, Ciciolla ended up on the streets. Alone, vulnerable and addicted to drugs, Ciciolla was inevitably led into the sex trade industry.
One day, Ciciolla got into a vehicle on the corner of 19th Avenue and 44th Street S.E., otherwise known as the "T&C stroll" in Forest Lawn. That was the last time anybody ever saw her.
She was missing for 7 years, and her remains were finally found on an abandoned farm near Indus, Alberta this past May.
Calgary Police officer Jeff Anderson had watched out for Ciciolla's safety during his time working in uniform on Calgary's strolls, and said she is someone he will never forget.
Two brave women currently working on the streets of Edmonton agreed to share their stories under a pseudonym to protect their identities. They stand as a reminder to all the vulnerable, young women still trapped in the shadows. They both hope to get out soon.
Watch a short film about the story of Maria Ciciolla told from the perspective of Calgary police officer Jeff Anderson. Ciciolla's case is currently under investigation by the RCMP.