A 20-year-old Winnipeg man has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of a woman who police say the man knew.
RCMP in Steinbach responded to a call about a homicide at a home on Creekside Drive in the southeastern Manitoba city at 1:40 p.m. Saturday, Mounties said in a news release Monday afternoon.
When officers arrived, the suspect and victim — a 20-year-old woman — weren’t there.
Further investigation led officers to believe the man had taken off in his vehicle with the woman’s body inside, the release said.
Officers from several detachments, including Steinbach, Stonewall, Sprague and Headingley, plus officers from RCMP traffic services, started an intensive search for the man.
The Winnipeg Police Service also assisted since the man lives in the capital, Mounties said.
RCMP officers found the man’s vehicle near the community of La Broquerie and conducted a traffic stop on Highway 52, west of the town.
The suspect was arrested and his vehicle caught on fire, police said. Mounties did not provide details about how the fire started.
Once that fire was put out, the vehicle was searched — but the woman’s body wasn’t there.
Police later got 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 was remanded into custody and was scheduled to appear in provincial court in Winnipeg on Monday, RCMP said.
The Mounties’ major crime services and forensic identification services units are investigating.
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