WINNIPEG – Police have released more details, including a composite drawing of a suspect, in the disappearance of a Manitoba woman two years ago.
Thelma Krull, 57, left her Winnipeg home to go for a walk on the morning of July 11, 2015. Her glasses and cellphone were found in a park, but Krull hasn’t been seen since.
Sgt. Wes Rommel of the Winnipeg police homicide unit says it’s believed she was abducted that morning after she got to Civic Park.
“We believe … she was involved in a physical altercation with a male and was forcibly removed from the area,” Rommel said at a news conference Thursday.
“Shortly after the initial encounter, Thelma was observed with this male … and she appeared to be in distress,” he said.
“That is based on some evidence at the scene and is based significantly on … what we believe to be a credible sighting of Thelma with this male.”
Rommel said investigators believe the man had access to a home in the Civic Park neighbourhood and may have been living there or staying temporarily.
There is nothing to suggest the two may have gone far, he said. There have been no reports of their being seen together other than the one sighting by a witness, who first came forward a year ago.
“Our team scoured that area. They went over every inch of outdoor, exterior wooded area (and) community area,” Rommel said.
“I don’t think it’s possible that they walked a mile or a long distance. It’s reasonable to believe, based on the information that we have and the lack of reports that we have received, that there was a location very close by.”
The suspect is described as Indigenous, in his 40s, between five-foot-six and five-foot-eight and weighing about 270 pounds. He had dark hair in a bowl cut or was possibly wearing a dark-coloured skull cap or beanie on his head.
Anyone who can recall seeing the man or knows of someone fitting his description living in the area at the time is asked to contact police.
Krull’s family has been co-operative throughout the investigation. Her daughter appeared at a new conference on the first anniversary of her mother’s disappearance asking for the public to come forward with any tips so the family could have closure.
Asked on Thursday if Krull is still alive, Rommel said that was a difficult question to answer.
“It doesn’t look good but, at the same time, I am not here to remove anybody’s hope.”