'Everything's coming back': discovery of missing woman's remains leaves neighbours concerned
The discovery of Thelma Krull's remains has brought the mysterious circumstances surrounding her disappearance back into focus for people living near the area she was last seen alive.
More than three years ago, the 57-year-old grandmother went for a Saturday morning walk in the Valley Gardens area and never returned.
Investigators are treating her death as a homicide and believe her killer may have a connection to the neighbourhood.
Fresh flowers have been placed at a weathered but colourful memorial marking the location where it's believed Krull came into contact with her killer.
People who live in the area who spoke to CTV News hope the discovery of Krull's remains brings some sense of closure to her family and friends, but they say unanswered questions in the case have left them on edge.
"Everything's coming back now,” said area resident Martha Winter. “You start thinking about it, you're looking around, behind you, in front of you."
Krull's remains were found in a wooded area outside the city by a hunter late last month around 50 kilometres from Valley Gardens, the area where Winnipeg police believe she walked to in July 2015 before she vanished.
"We always hoped that she's somewhere,” said Winter. “Somewhere, you know, still alive and then when you see it on the TV, it was a terrible feeling."
The lead investigator in the Krull case, Sgt. Wes Rommel, believes a single killer unknown to Krull is responsible — a person he suggested has some connection to Valley Gardens.
It’s an unsettling detail for area residents in an investigation which so far has provided few answers about what happened.
"I would say it definitely makes people a little more cautious, especially since all they did was find the remains, not the killer,” said Daron Love.
Investigators believe shortly after she arrived at Civic Park at 8 a.m. on the day of her disappearance, Krull was involved in a physical altercation and was taken from the area.
"Due to the absence of witness accounts we believe that Thelma was taken into a residence, building or vehicle within that immediate area," said Rommel during a media conference on Thursday.
Investigators would only say it would've taken some effort to get her remains to the wooded area — a location they believe would be known to the killer.
"Because it's not random,” said Rommel. “It's that location for a reason. It's a matter of figuring out what that is."
Martha Winter hopes police catch the killer soon.
"We want to find out who's responsible for this terrible crime."
Winnipeg police say they've received more than 450 tips since the Krull investigation started
But they say they still need help from the public.
They're asking anyone who lives in or around the Valley Gardens area or in the R.M. of Tache where Krull's remains were found who can recall anything suspicious or any relevant information from the summer of 2015 to contact detectives at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers.