Man charged with first-degree murder after police search ends with vehicle catching fire: RCMP
A 20-year-old Winnipeg man has been charged with first-degree murder in the murder of a woman police say the man knew.
Steinbach RCMP responded to a call for a homicide at a home on Creekside Drive in the southeastern Manitoba town at 1:40 p.m. Saturday, RCMP said in a news release Monday afternoon.
When the police arrived, the suspect and the victim – a 20-year-old woman – were not there.
Further investigation led officers to believe the man took off in his vehicle with the woman’s body inside, the statement said.
Officers from several detachments, including Steinbach, Stonewall, Sprague and Headingley, along with RCMP traffic services officers, launched an intensive search for the man.
The Winnipeg Police Service also assisted since the man lives in the capital, RCMP said.
RCMP officers found the man’s vehicle near the community of La Broquerie and conducted a traffic stop on Highway 52, west of town.
The suspect was arrested and his vehicle caught fire, police said. RCMP believe the man set the car on fire when he was arrested, spokesman Robert Cyrenne said in an email.
After the fire was extinguished, the vehicle was searched, but the woman’s body was not there.
Police then obtained information that directed them to a remote ATV trail in a rural area south of the community of Woodridge. There they found the woman’s body.
On Sunday, Josh Benoit was charged with first degree murder in the death of the woman, who has not been publicly identified.
Benoit has been remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear in Winnipeg Provincial Court on Monday, RCMP said.
RCMP Major Crimes and Forensic Identification Units are investigating.