The Winnipeg Police Service is branching out on its search for Winnipeg man, Eduardo Balaquit outside city limits.

Police assisted by community groups and Balaquit's friends and family will search in and around Arborg, about an hour north of Winnipeg.

Investigators with the homicide unit believe that Balaquit was the victim of a crime.

“It’s a case where someone goes missing, circumstances are somewhat confusing and complicated, might even say a little mysterious,” said Const. Rob Carver, a spokesperson for Winnipeg police.

“Very complex and difficult investigation,” he said.

Carver said general patrol members, people from the missing persons unit, forensics and homicide detectives have all worked on the case, and investigators have been in touch with the RCMP.

Carver said the investigation straddles the line between a missing persons case and homicide case.

He could not say if Balaquit is still alive.

Search near Arborg

 

Sgt. Randy Antonio is with Winnipeg Police Search and Rescue.

He said there are about 15 people searching an area south of Arborg, including volunteers and members with the RCMP.

Antonio said this is the first day the group has been out in the area.

He said searchers are looking in places where someone could conceal evidence, places like farmyards and treed areas.

He said it's important people wanting to help the search stay back for now, because the group doesn’t want to retrace foot prints unnecessarily.

Arborg mayor Randy Sigurdson said he’s shocked and saddened the investigation has led police so close to his community.

Police are asking people at homes and businesses to check their properties and consider reporting anything suspicious.

“If we can be of any help to further this investigation along, I know the people of Arborg would be willing to do whatever they can,” Sigurdson said.

The missing man’s son, Edward Balaquit, travelled to the Arborg area Wednesday. He said he’s been handing out flyers in town and staying positive.

“Our hope’s still alive. It sounds like we’re closer to finding him,” he said.

Balaquit's last known whereabouts

Balaquit was last spotted around the 300 block of Keewatin Street on the night on Monday, June 4.

He was last seen wearing a black zip-up sweater, black pants and black shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Winnipeg Police Service homicide unit at 204-986-6508 or Crimestoppers at 204-786-8477.

With files from CTV Winnipeg