Thelma Krull investigation: Police release sketches of suspect
Winnipeg grandmother disappeared 2 years ago
Winnipeg police are asking the public to help identify a suspect in the Thelma Krull disappearance.
The Winnipeg grandmother disappeared two years ago after she left her home in East Kildonan for a walk.
Police have said they believe foul play is involved in the case but on Thursday, they went further, saying they believe she was involved in a physical altercation with a man and forcibly taken from the area.
It happened shortly after she arrived at Civic Park, behind Kildonan-East Collegiate, around 8 a.m. on July 11, 2015, police said. Several pieces of evidence, including Krull's glasses and cellphone, were found in that area after her disappearance.
Krull was seen with a heavy-set man in the area of Kimberly Avenue and Grey Street and appeared to be in distress, police said. They believe the man was either living in the area at the time or has access to a residence nearby.
"There was conflict between these two at the time," said Sgt. Wes Rommel, adding there have been no sightings of Krull beyond that area, which is why police think they went into a residence.
"I don't think it's possible that they walked a mile or, you know, a long distance."
Asked if investigators believe it's possible Krull is still alive, Rommel said "that's a very difficult question to answer.
"The reality of it is, based on the circumstances of the information I've just presented to you … and the fact that it's two years plus [since Krull's disappearance], it doesn't look good. But at the same time, I'm not here to remove anybody's hope."
The suspect is described as being in his 40s, about 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 and weighing 270 pounds. He had a large stomach and a chubby face, police said.
He also had dark hair with a bowl-style cut going straight across the forehead, or he may have been wearing a dark-coloured skull cap or beanie.
Homicide investigators would like to speak with anyone who may have information about the suspect or possible sightings of Krull in his company near Kimberly Avenue and Gateway Road.
"We want people to focus on who was in and around the area in that period, two years ago. We want people to take themselves back to that time period and think about anyone who resembles that appearance, to jar their memory," Rommel said.
Janet Bialkowski lives just down the road from the park where Krull might have been taken.
"It's scary to know it's in our area. We always thought we were in a safe area. It's sad and it's scary," she said. "I used to go for walks and that, and now I don't because it's scary to go by yourself anywhere."
She also had close involvement with the family after Krull initially disappeared when they came by with photos of her, looking for anyone who had seen her.
Jachnycky said she was glad to hear that the case was still active when police released the sketches of the suspect. "And that hopefully there will be some resolve for the family. It must be difficult to have such a span of time go by and not know what happened to a loved one."
Ever since Krull's disappearance, Jachnycky said she is "hypervigilant."
"You're just more diligent in terms of when you're working late. Where you park your car, you do a second look and that's not a bad practice."
Investigators can be contacted directly at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).
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