Winnipeg police have charged Kyllan James Ellis in connection to the 2012 murder of Simone Sanderson.

Police announced at a news conference Tuesday that Ellis, 28, has been arrested and charged with second degree murder.

Deputy Chief Danny Smyth said Ellis was known to exploit women in the sex trade.

“It's believed he encountered Simone Sanderson on the street. Investigators believe Kyllan and Simone didn't know each other," said Smyth.

"A confrontation occurred between them which escalated into physical violence and Simone Sanderson sustained blunt force trauma at the hands of Ellis, which resulted in her death."

Her body was found Sept. 2, 2012 in the area of Main Street and Burrows Avenue.

Police said her body was left in a vacant lot and covered with a piece of cardboard.

According to police, a DNA warrant was executed. Police said there is no match yet, but Ellis’ DNA has been submitted for comparison with a sample from the crime scene.

Sargent Wes Rommel said members of the public coming forward were critical in solving the case.

Smyth said indigenous women and girls are too often the victims of serious crimes.

"Simone Sanderson mattered. She is missed by her family and friends and certainly our investigators have done everything in their power to ensure this investigation was done thouroughly and competently so that Simon Sanderson and her family can find justice," said Smyth.

- With files from Michelle Gerwing