Edmonton homicide detectives conduct rural search in relation to missing woman
*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article initially said Pangracs was last seen on July 8. However, police said she was last heard from June 8 and reported missing a month later on July 8. This article has been corrected and Global News regrets the error.
Edmonton police were searching the rural area around Range Road 233 and Township Road 514 on Saturday in hopes of finding evidence related to a missing person case.
Detectives from the missing persons unit and homicide section are working together on the case.
Patricia Wendy Pangracs hasn’t been heard from since June 8. She was reported missing July 8. The Edmonton woman does not have family close by.
“The fact that it’s come over to our section indicates that we do have some concerns for Patricia Pangracs’s well-being,” EPS homicide Det. Jared Buhler said.
There were 24 civilian searchers helping on Saturday and five K9 teams, along with police and search and rescue. Police were focused on four parcels of land surrounding the intersection of Range Road 233 and Township Road 514.
They won’t be searching inside homes, only premises of the four properties.
“Those landowners have provided their consent for us to come on their properties and search,” Buhler said. “We certainly don’t have any reason to believe they’re involved in this investigation at all but they’ve been very co-operative and we do appreciate their assistance in that.”
Police are also asking residents who live or have property near that intersection to check their properties, sheds and other outbuildings for anything unusual.
“Our search here today is for evidence related to her disappearance,” Buhler said. “Through the course of our investigation, we’ve come to believe that this is the place where she was last seen or heard from.
“It’s possible that she left personal belongings in this area. We’re looking for that or any other evidence.”
On Sunday, police said the ground search didn’t uncover anything of interest but that they had received some new information.
Investigators also believe Pangracs was in the Bruderheim and Beaumont area in the hours leading up to her disappearance, sometime between the evening of Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8.
What happened between when she was in Bruderheim and Beaumont and when she arrived near the intersection of Range Road 233 and Township Road 514 is crucial, Buhler said.
“The circumstances that led her to be here are, at this point, integral to our investigation. I’m not prepared to discuss the details of exactly what caused her to be out here or who she was with at this time. But we do want to learn more.”
Buhler was not comfortable calling anyone a suspect in the case nor saying whether it is, at this point, even a criminal matter.
“I’m looking for Patricia, alive or dead. The honest answer is that I don’t know if Patricia is alive or dead.
“The best evidence that we have at this point, would, on a balance of probabilities, lead me to the latter conclusion and that’s why homicide is involved.”
Police said it’s believed Pangracs was travelling in a white 2011 Cadillac CTS, which had visible damage on the front passenger bumper.
Security footage shows Pangracs at a gas station in Bruderheim with that vehicle on June 7.
A map of a route through Beaumont that investigators believe Pangracs might have travelled was also released by police Saturday.
Investigators are asking residents with video surveillance of any pedestrian or vehicle traffic between 3:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturday, June 8 along or around the specified route to contact police immediately.
Police describe Pangracs as 5’5″ and 130 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing dark pants, blue heeled boots, a dark zippered jacket and a white long-sleeved shirt. She was carrying a dark purse, a phone and sunglasses.
“Pangracs’ disappearance is considered out of character and the circumstances leading up to her disappearance have caused authorities to become further concerned for her well-being,” EPS said in a news release. “Police would also like to speak to anyone who had contact with Pangracs in the weeks leading up to her disappearance.”
Buhler said investigators believe there were a series of other conflicts — some violent — that preceded and in some cases, followed, her disappearance. Buhler said some people Pangracs knows are involved in criminal activity.
Anyone with information about Pangracs’ disappearance is asked to call EPS at 780-423-4567 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Crime Stoppers tips can also be submitted online.
— with files from Kirby Bourne
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