Manitoba

1 year after Thelma Krull's disappearance, friends and family gather to remember her

One year later, friends, family and community members are gathering to think about Thelma Krull together.

'There's no one out here just remembering this day alone,' family friend says

Family and friends made a frame with Thelma's picture decorated in flowers for Monday night's vigil. (Cliff Simpson/CBC)

One year later, friends, family and community members are gathering to think about Thelma Krull together.

The 57-year-old vanished on July 11, 2015. She left for a walk at 7:23 a.m. and did not come home. 

Members of Winnipeg's Indigenous community put on drumming and smudging ceremonies at Monday's vigil, and from a distance, a blur of people in purple released a lantern into the sky. 

Connie Muscat, one of Krull's friends, said the night was about unity.

"The biggest part … was just that we could … offer each other support so that there's no one out here just remembering this day alone," she said.

Community members, many dressed in purple to remember Krull, gathered at Kimberly Hill on Monday evening. (Cliff Simpson/CBC)

Muscat said she expected the vigil to bring people together but not much more than that.

"I'm not really sure that healing is possible at this point," she said. 

"It's supposed to get easy one day. We haven't found that day yet, but we're hoping some answers soon will bring us some closure."

Possible abduction, police say

On Monday, investigators said the homicide unit is still on the case, and it's possible Krull was the victim of a random abduction.

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.

The news brings about a threat to Winnipeg in general, according to Muscat.

"If we still don't have answers then that means that this person or these people that are involved are still out there and that's a risk for everyone in this community," she said.

Donations on the decline

In the weeks following Krull's disappearance, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) donated $5,000 as a reward for information that leads to her. ATU International, based in Washington, matched the donation to create a $10,000 reward.

Krull's husband, Robert Krull, works for Winnipeg Transit.

"[The reward] is still out there," said Aleem Chaudhary, vice president of ATU Local 1505.

Shannon Kennedy, an instructor with Winnipeg Transit, said a fundraiser selling whistles has raised more than $6,000. On Tuesday, that money and the remainder of the whistles will be donated to ChildFind Manitoba.

"[Donations were] very, very strong. Unfortunately, with the media's attention diverted from it to other things, we find that it's declined," Chaudhary said.

"So, tomorrow we're taking all the whistles, and we're going to be donating them."

Chaudhary did not expect to be at a vigil for Krull one year later, he said.

"We thought it would be solved by now. I think everybody had the high hopes that she'd be returned safely home to her family. [But], her family's out here and they're hurting," he said.

now