RCMP looking for four people who may have info on human remains found in Portage la Prairie
WINNIPEG -- RCMP are asking for the public's help to identify four people that may have information connected to the human remains that were found near a Portage la Prairie man's garden in June.
During a press conference on Wednesday, RCMP Superintendent Michael Koppang, the officer in charge of Manitoba RCMP Major Crime Services, said while the identity of the remains is still unknown, investigators believe the victim's body was placed near Baker Street in Portage la Prairie on June 20, 2020 sometime between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Koppang said anyone who lives near Baker Street or was driving in the area at this time and may have seen something suspicious in the early morning hours of June 20, 2020 to please also contact the RCMP tip line.
"He may have been residing in Winnipeg or travelling through the city around the time of his murder," Koppang said.
"Identifying the victim is important in this very complex investigation, and we know that someone must have known this person."
RCMP LOOKING FOR TIPS ON FOUR INDIVIDUALS
Koppang called on the public's help to identify four individuals who were travelling together in a dark coloured SUV on June 20.
Video surveillance provided by the RCMP shows these people stopped as a Shell/Circle K at 327 Saskatchewan Ave. in Portage la Prairie at 4 a.m.
Koppang said this is approximately two kilometres from where the remains were found.
The RCMP provided descriptions of the four people:
The first person is a man with short dark brown hair, approximately five-foot-nine, with tattoos on both of his forearms, neck and face. He was wearing a navy plaid shirt and black pants.
The second person is a man with short dyed blond hair, approximately six-feet-tall, with tattoos on both arms. He was wearing a red and black baseball cap, black t-shirt, black pants and brown boots.
The third person is a woman with long brown hair, approximately five-foot-six, wearing a red flowered shirt and black skirt.
The fourth person is a woman with long black hair, approximately five-foot-three, wearing a black Nike hoodie and black pants.
"Based on the new timeline provided today, we believe they may have information that may assist and further our investigation," Koppang said.
Police said the autopsy determined the homicide victim was a man between 20 and 40 years old, with brown hair that was possibly medium length. The man was between five foot seven and six foot two in height. Officers noted the man had scoliosis.
"If anyone has not seen or heard from a loved one, a friend, a relative, or an acquaintance in the last few weeks, that matches the description of the victim, they are asked to call the RCMP Major Crimes Services tip line at (431) 489-8551," Koppang said.
Anyone with information on the identity of the victim, or if they recognize these individuals, is asked to call the RCMP Major Crime Services tip line, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. People can also submit tips online.
REMAINS FOUND NEAR MAN’S GARDEN
Mounties found the human remains on June 24 near Baker Street. Police later announced the person was the victim of a homicide.
The remains were found near the garden of a Portage la Prairie man, Byron Popiel.
At the time, Popiel told CTV News he was watering his tomatoes when he smelled something weird. He said his dog led him to the remains that were buried under a pile of dirt from his garden. He said there were also remains in one of his rain barrels.
“I feel bad,” Popiel told CTV News in June, a day after the remains were found. “I’m very sick in my stomach and I’m very terrified.”
-with files from CTV's Kayla Rosen and Josh Crabb