Manitoba RCMP are concentrated in the Whiteshell region searching for homicide suspect Eric Wildman, who Mounties say was last seen driving east on Highway 44 east of Whitemouth Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
RCMP are telling the public to expect a heavy police presence throughout the area, as they work with Ontario police to locate the suspect.
Global News saw several officers driving around West Hawk Lake by the Manitoba-Ontario border, scouring the area for any signs of Wildman, who’s suspected of killing Clifford Joseph, 40.
Police say Wildman could be driving a grey SUV and have firearms and police-related gear.
Court records show 34-year-old Wildman was convicted of forgery in 2018 and also holds other convictions dating back to 2005.
News of Wildman’s sighting in the RM of Whitemouth has many of its 1,500 residents on high alert.
“The residents here, the ones that I have talked to this morning, are definitely concerned about it,” Walter Amerongen told Global News Thursday morning.
Amerongen, the municipality’s reeve, said he ensured the buildings on his property were locked when he heard of the sighting Wednesday night.
“I am sure that awareness went right through the community,” he said.
“I think we’d like to caution all of our residents to make sure that they have their keys out of the vehicles, houses are locked, just for being cautious and making sure.”
Amerongen said he’d requested an update from local RCMP but hadn’t heard anything at interview time.
Mounties said on Twitter they have specialized units assisting with the search, including air and police dog services, the emergency response team and major crime services.
Manitoba RCMP Sgt. Laura LeDrew with the major crimes unit said Wednesday Mounties don’t know where Wildman could be heading but are following up on all leads.
“We’ve received numerous tips,” she said Wednesday.
–With files from The Canadian Press