Suspect in sex worker's killing facing other charges

The man charged in the July killing of a Winnipeg sex worker was considered a 'person of interest' in the case within days of her death, police said Tuesday.

The man charged in the July killing of a Winnipeg sex worker also faces charges relating to sexual assaults on other women, police said Tuesday.

The 49-year-old was charged with second-degree murder on Monday in the death of Aynsley Aurora Kinch, a 35-year-old sex-trade workerand mother of three.

The suspect was considered a "person of interest" to police within three days of Kinch's death, police said Tuesday. Investigators believe the man met Kinch at a residence and that she left with him shortly before her death.

"They were recent acquaintances," said Winnipeg Police Const. JacquelineChaput. "He did not, for lack of a better word, pick her up on the street.They were at the same residence that evening and that was the nature of their relationship."

Kinch'sbody was found in a field in northwest Winnipeg on July 15.

The suspect was arrested on July 20 and has remained in custody since, police said. A warrant had been issued for his arrest in 1997 in connection with an assault on a man.

Chaput said it's believed the suspect had left the province for many years, which is why the decade-old warrant had not been served.

Heis facingcharges inconnection with the assault of an 18-year-old sex worker on June 29 and the sexual assault of a 24-year-old woman between June 15 and July 6, police said.

Family has 'mixed feelings'

Kinch'sfathersays her familyis relieved there has been an arrest in connection with her death.

"[I'm] happy that they caught him, but there's so much mixed feelings involved here," John Fitch told CBC News.

"The details of the way she was murdered and everything comes out now, because the police couldn't tell us anything before that."

Fitch said the two investigators assigned to his daughter's case put a lot of their own time into the investigation.

"They told us from the start they'll find this guy, and they did," he said.

"They were wonderful, you know, I can't say enough about how hard they worked on this thing, and the results proved it."

Fitchsaid he isalready bracing himself for the difficulty he expects to face as the case proceeds through the courts.

"I just hope it carries through now to the justice system… that's the part that worries me now," he said.

Drug 'epidemic'trapsyoung women

Fitch said drug addiction played a major role in his daughter's death.

"This city is overrun with drugs, there's no escape. These girls get hooked both ways, they can't quit because they need the drugs, and the drugs are keeping them in the business," he said.

"It changes them into thieves, and crooks, and liars and everything, just to get drugs. And they [were] all decent people and good people.

"I never knew how bad it was until this happened and we started digging ourselves," he added. "It's an epidemic."

Kinch'swas the second of three prostitutes' bodies found in the northwest corner of the city in recent years, which led some in Winnipeg to suggest a serial killer might have been stalking prostitutes.

Police said Monday that the suspect charged in Kinch's death had been in custody since mid-July, and therefore could not be responsible for the most recent killing, that of 17-year-old Fonessa Bruyere, whose body was found at the end of August.

Investigators have long said the evidence collected in Bruyere's, Kinch's and the other cases did not lead them to believe the same person was responsible for the deaths.

The cases of at least 19 other Winnipeg sex-trade workers killed in the past 25 years, including Bruyere's, remain unsolved.