Thelma Krull may have been abducted, police say

Thelma Krull may have been abducted when she disappeared one year ago from the Valley Gardens area, police say.

'Please, someone help us help bring Thelma home,' husband says of missing grandmother

'People don't just disappear" Thelma Krull's daughter looks for answers

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

5 years ago
Lisa Besser, Thelma Krull's daughter, speaks on the one-year anniversary of her mother's disappearance. 0:50

Thelma Krull may have been abducted when she disappeared one year ago from the Valley Gardens area, police say.

The 57-year-old grandmother went missing after going out for a walk on the morning of July 11, 2015. Her glasses were found a few days later on the ground at Kimberly Hill in the park behind Kildonan-East Collegiate in the Valley Gardens area.

Police said the investigation has uncovered signs of distress.

"It is our belief that this distress was the result of either a medical situation she experienced or an encounter and ultimate abduction by an unknown individual," said Sgt. Wes Rommel, of the homicide unit.

Krull's cellphone was found at the park and it has been forensically audited, although Rommel would not say what police found on it. If it was an abduction, they believe it was random, he added.

People are asked to wear purple to a vigil at Kimberley Hill on Monday. (Krull family)
Krull's daughter, Lisa Besser, asked for anyone with information to come forward.

"It's extremely hard not knowing, not knowing if she's coming home again or never again, not knowing if she will be at another birthday party, Christmas, [or] family event," she said.

"There has been no closure for our family — only wonder, confusion and anger. People don't just disappear. I think it's impossible that there's absolutely nobody out there who can tell us what happened."

"Please, someone help us help bring Thelma home," Krull's husband, Robert, added.

Police said they have received more than 240 tips from the public, but they are still asking people to come forward if they were in and around the area of Civic Park, which is between Kildonan East Collegiate and Valley Gardens Community Centre, on the day Krull disappeared.

"We still believe that someone out there has a very critical piece of information," Rommel said.

Rommel added that people need to remain vigilant.

"I ask people who live in and around the area of Civic Park and the Valley Gardens Area, if you have a suspicion or a gut feeling about someone who lives in, works in or is somehow associated to this area, we want to hear about that," he said.

"Also if you have noticed any change in behaviour amongst anyone in that area since the time of Thelma's disappearance, we want to know."

Police seek to identify new possible witnesses

Police hope to speak with three people who were in the Valley Gardens area the morning Krull went missing.

Police said they are looking for information to identify a lady walking in the area who was wearing a purple shirt and white hat, as captured on surveillance photos.

Police say they are looking for information to identify this lady who was walking in the area the morning Krull disappeared. (Winnipeg Police Services/Submitted to CBC)

Police also want to identify a man and woman who entered the park around 8 a.m. They were seen having a conversation at the dead end of Kimberly Avenue in the southeast area of the park.

"Those individuals may have seen something," Rommel said.

Police previously released information about four other people in the park, but they've been located and interviewed, Rommel said.

Police believe two people in their 30s were seen in this area of Civic Park the day Thelma Krull went missing. (Google Maps)

For people concerned about safety in the area, Rommel said he would encourage them to make smart decisions.

"It is one year since Thelma's been missing and a possibility is an abduction. There's no doubt when she left that morning she thought she was safe," he said.

Police previously released a short video of Krull walking from her home to show her clothing and manner of walk.

Vigil planned 1 year after disappearance

Krull's family and friends have not given up, but holding out hope is becoming increasingly difficult, a friend said.

"We feel and hope every day that we are going to get some news or she's going to come home, but the longer  it goes on — people keep telling us it's going to get better, but it hasn't," Krull's friend, Connie Muscat, said.

Muscat has planned a vigil for 8:30 p.m. Monday night at Kimberly Hill.

Lanterns will be released at the vigil and Muscat has asked people to wear purple.

"Her favourite colour was pink, actually, but with the purple streak in her hair, she obviously liked purple," Muscat said with a smile.

"When I see that colour, it makes me remember her and be happy."​