Winnipeg police say they’ve made an arrest after a woman was found dead near an Edison Avenue apartment earlier this week, and investigators warn there may be more victims.
Police were called to the 200 block of Edison Avenue shortly before 5:30 a.m. Monday for the reports of what they’ve previously called “suspicious circumstances.”
At a press conference Thursday police spokesperson Const. Rob Carver identified the victim as Rebecca Contois, 24.
“This is a tragedy for the entire community and the city,” Carver told reporters.
He said her partial remains were found near an apartment building. Global News saw officers at the scene investigating near a garbage bin.
Carver said an ongoing investigation has since led officers to also search at the Brady Road landfill in Winnipeg.
He said circumstances in the case have led homicide investigators to suspect there may be more victims, but didn’t expand on why, or say how many more victims there may be.
“There are things that are leading investigators to look at that as a potential possibility,” Carver said.
On Wednesday police arrested 35-year-old Jeremy Anthony Michael Skibicki. He has been charged with first-degree murder and remains in police custody.
Carver said Contois and Skibicki were previously known to each other.
He added that it’s very likely Contois was killed not long before her remains were found.
Carver called the discovery of the woman’s remains a “horrifically, grisly scene.”
A family friend told Global News Contois leaves behind a daughter.
Carver said officers have executed a search warrant at the Skibicki’s home, which he added is in the area of where Contois’ body was found.
He said investigators began searching the landfill Monday and were still there on Thursday afternoon.
“That is going to be a long ongoing operation … police resources will be focusing on this for quite some time,” he said.
“We understand the environmental risks to our own officers who are going to be out there, to cadets who might be out there. There are hazmat concerns, which we have to take care of and plan for.
“We’ll be using all the resources at our disposal.”
Carver said that could include the use of drones and a canine search team.
Angie Tuesday, a family resource and support advocate, said she has been in touch with the woman’s family and they are “going through an intense period of grieving.”
“This was their loved one. This was their girl,” Tuesday said.
She said they have asked for privacy.
“This is traumatic. It is very troubling news for them and they deserve some respect.”
Police are asking those with surveillance cameras in the area to check their tapes for anything suspicious.
Anyone with information or who may have heard or seen anything unusual is asked to call investigators at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).
— with files from Global’s Brittany Greenslade and The Canadian Press