The disappearance of Clifford Joseph, 40, and the ensuing manhunt for his neighbour, Eric Wildman, 34, has unfolded quickly over the past 10 days.
It all began June 7, with a missing persons’ report.
Mounties were told Joseph was last seen early that morning, leaving his home on Road 44 East in the RM of St. Clements.
Later that day, Joseph’s ’97 Ford Ranger was found abandoned in a rural area off the road.
Police organized a search and four days later – last Friday – his disappearance was declared suspicious.
Officers recovered a vehicle belonging to Wildman that day, but weren’t able to search it until Sunday.
Although it wasn’t announced until later, Mounties say Wildman was seen on surveillance video Friday at about 6:40 p.m. at a Lowe’s Home Improvement store on Panet Road.
He then took a cab to the Winnipeg airport, and at 7:25 p.m. rented a grey 2020 Chevy Equinox.
One day later, Saturday, RCMP announced Wildman was a person of interest in the case.
On Sunday, a warrant to search Wildman’s vehicle was served, and police say they recovered tactical equipment, police patches, and other items resembling police clothing.
A warrant was issued for his arrest related to a stash of weapons and ammunition officers allegedly found inside the vehicle.
On Monday, Mounties announced Wildman was a suspect in the homicide of Joseph, and a public tip-line went online.
Officers say information was received that Wildman was possibly in Winnipeg as of June 14.
The following day, RCMP revealed they were searching a rural property in St. Clements in connection with the case.
The same day, police say there was a credible sighting of Wildman during the evening in the Lockport area; driving the Equinox and heading east on Highway 44.
Wednesday evening at around 7 p.m., officers say there was a confirmed sighting, and that Wildman was driving east on Highway 44, east of Whitemouth.
Mounties say an intensive search was underway Thursday in the Whiteshell area, involving members from across southern Manitoba, including the Emergency Response Team, K9 units, Critical Incident Command, Air Services and Major Crime Services.
By mid-afternoon Thursday, RCMP Sergeant Laura LeDrew said authorities had no more confirmed sightings since the one Wednesday, which led to the Whiteshell search.
“The search is focused there right now definitely, however, we are still following up on other credible tips that come in that we believe might have something to it,” LeDrew said, adding they’ve received “a couple hundred” tips so far.
“We are following up on all of them, whether by telephone or physically sending out teams.”
She says they’re working closely with counterparts in Ontario but wouldn’t say whether or not they believe Wildman is possibly heading to Ontario, or somewhere else.
RCMP consider Wildman armed and dangerous, and should not be approached. Anyone who sees him, or the vehicle, license plate KGE 368, is asked to phone 911.