RCMP plead for tips after body ID'd as Winnipeg man missing since August
Bud Paul, 56, was 'very sweet, very mild-mannered ... and he would never hurt anybody,' says stepdaughter
A body found in southern Manitoba in August has been identified as missing Winnipegger Bud Paul, and RCMP urge anyone with information about his death to come forward.
"We can now confirm that Bud Paul was murdered, and his body hidden in deep brush on the Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation," Supt. Michael Koppang said at a news conference Wednesday, more than two months after the remains were found on Aug. 11.
Paul's stepdaughter, Sabrina Clarke, says her family is now trying to come to terms with what happened.
"Bud was a very shy man, very sweet, very mild-mannered, hardly ever deviated from his routine, and he would never hurt anybody," she said.
"He was a good man, he was a very good man. It's tragic and upsetting and I don't understand how somebody could have done this to him."
WATCH | RCMP plead for tips after body ID'd as Winnipeg man missing since August:
Clarke, who lives in Alberta, says Paul didn't have any children, and her mother passed away a few years ago. She said she hasn't been told much about the investigation, other than what was released to the media Wednesday.
Investigators are working to fill in a timeline about the days leading up to Paul's death, Koppang said at Wednesday's news conference.
The 56-year-old was reported missing to Winnipeg police on Aug. 7. At the time, Winnipeg police said Paul had last been heard from on Aug. 4.
A joint investigation with RCMP found footage of Paul with two people in a liquor store in Neepawa, Man., on Aug. 1.
A burned SUV found on Winnipeg's Queen Street nine days after that was later identified as belonging to Paul, Koppang said.
The next day, hunters in the area of Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation found Paul's body — although police hadn't confirmed the remains belonged to Paul until Wednesday.
"We know that Bud Paul was in Neepawa on Aug. 1, that his car was burnt in Winnipeg on Aug. 10 and that his body was located in Roseau River on Aug. 11," Koppang said. "But there are gaps of time that we need your help with."
Bank account, cellphone used
Police have issued multiple requests for information from the public since Paul was reported missing, including asking for help to identify the two people seen with him in the Neepawa liquor store, and to identify a woman seen near his vehicle before it was burned on Queen Street.
Police have now identified the man seen with Paul in Neepawa, Koppang said. He said it's still not clear how the individuals are connected.
RCMP hid the fact his body had been found because releasing it publicly could have compromised the investigation, Koppang said.
The location of the body in a wooded area on Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation indicates an effort to ensure it wasn't found, Koppang said, but police can't conclude whoever hid the body had connections to the area.
"In terms of drawing a conclusion about familiarity, that's that's a bridge too far for us to make a conclusion on," he said.
Investigators have done extensive searches of the area where Paul's body was found and his Winnipeg residence, Koppang said.
Police found a piece of evidence discarded in a garbage bin near the burned vehicle, but Koppang said he couldn't say what it was.
Investigators believe those responsible for Paul's death continued to use his bank account and cellphone after he died.
How they were used is part of a "mosaic of evidence" in the case, Koppang said.
Police want to hear from anyone who had contact with Paul or the individuals seen with him in Neepawa on or around Aug. 1, Koppang said.
They're also still seeking help to identify the woman seen near his vehicle in Winnipeg, and for information from anyone who saw anything suspicious around Queen Street on Aug. 10, or around Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation in the days leading up to Aug. 11.
The public can reach investigators through the RCMP tip line at 431-489-8551.
With files from Riley Laychuk