Manitoba RCMP release details on sightings of homicide suspect
June 17, 2021 By Canadian Press
Mounties say a grey 2020 Chevy Equinox that Eric Wildman is believed to be driving was spotted at 7 p.m. Wednesday on Highway 44 east of Whitemouth, Man., which is less than 80 kilometres from the Ontario boundary.
Earlier in the day, the RCMP said they had credible information about a sighting of Wildman on Tuesday in the area of Lockport, Man., about 30 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
RCMP also say footage captured on security cameras appears to show Wildman at a Lowe’s home improvement store in Winnipeg on Friday night.
The footage shows the same man getting into a cab and being dropped off at the Winnipeg International Airport, where he goes to a car rental agency and picks up a 2020 Chevy Equinox.
Police are investigating the disappearance of 40-year-old Clifford Joseph from the Rural Municipality of St. Clements and have issued an arrest warrant for Wildman, who is 34.
Joseph was last seen when he left his home on June 7. Soon after he was reported missing, RCMP found his 1997 Ford Ranger abandoned in a rural area. A search-and-rescue team was sent out, but Joseph was not found.
Police say the man in the security video was wearing shorts, a T-shirt, runners, a white camouflage baseball cap and a surgical mask.
Sgt. Laura LeDrew with the major crimes unit said Mounties don’t know where Wildman might be heading, but are following up all leads.
“We’ve received numerous tips,” she said Wednesday.
LeDrew said Mounties were still searching land in St. Clements that belongs to Wildman. The large rural property has burned-out cars, scrap metal and rubble from a residence that burned down. She said officers are looking for evidence as well as the remains of Joseph.
The investigation does not indicate a connection between Wildman and another man who disappeared from the same area a few years ago, she said.
Vernon Karl Otto was reported missing in 2018. His burned-out truck was found but Otto has never been located. Both the missing men lived in the same house but at different times. Wildman was their neighbour.
“The fact that they happen to be neighbours, we are very aware,” LeDrew said. “But there is no connection between the two.”
RCMP have previously said Wildman may have clothing and gear resembling that used by police. Officers found police tactical equipment, patches and other items resembling officer uniforms when they search his truck on Sunday. They also found a significant number of firearms.
Mounties are reminding the public not to approach anyone believed to be Wildman.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2021.
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