Winnipeg police have made an arrest in the disappearance of Bobby Thomson, a 21-year-old man who went missing from Osborne Village in July 2012.
Thomson was last seen outside a liquor mart at Osborne Street and River Avenue. His close friend told police and reporters Thomson had gone to get beer and never returned.
Over a year after his disappearance, police renewed calls for information in the case, bringing the man’s father to a press conference to issue an emotional plea for information.
Then, in December 2013, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the case and saying new information about the case had come in. A man and a woman had been spotted with Thomson at the liquor mart, and police were looking for both.
On Tuesday, officers announced they had made an arrest in the case and revealed what they believe happened to the man.
Police said Thomson met a man and a woman at the liquor mart on July 21, 2012, the night he disappeared. They bought alcohol and went to the bank of the Assiniboine River to socialize.
According to police, a serious fight broke out between the man and Thomson under the Osborne Bridge, resulting in Thomson being "put in the river."
Const. Jason Michalyshen said police still don’t know what the actual cause of death was for Thomson.
“That component of the investigation is definitely ongoing, but for us to specifically say at this time, his cause of death, we certainly would not be able to do so,” said Michalyshen. “We’re aware and it’s alleged that the male and Robert became involved in a very, very violent — a very serious altercation.”
So far, police have not recovered Thomson's body but are using the woman who was with Thomson the night he died as a witness in the case.
On Monday, 22-year-old Tanner James Prevost was charged with second-degree murder. Prevost was already in custody for an unrelated matter when he was charged. Police said he will remain in custody.
The news, although tragic, has provided some level of comfort for his family, police said.
"I got the sense that maybe there was a bit of relief," Michalyshen said. "However they are still facing a number of challenges and will continue to mourn."
Police said they will continue to try and find Thomson's body.