Man in custody after 5 people, including 3 children, found dead in southern Manitoba

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details.

Five people — three of them children — were found dead Sunday morning in three incidents RCMP say are linked in southern Manitoba.

A 29-year-old man has been taken into custody. No charges have been laid yet, Insp. Tim Arseneault of RCMP major crime services said at a news conference at Winnipeg RCMP headquarters Sunday afternoon.

“As a parent, I simply can’t imagine the enormity of your loss,” Arseneault said. “The community of Carman and surrounding areas will also be grieving as they have lost some of their youngest residents in such a tragic way.”

RCMP say the deaths happened at three different locations — Highway 3 between Carman and Winkler, Highway 248 north of provincial road 424 and a home in Carman, Man., which is about 75 km southwest of Winnipeg.

The approximate locations where the 5 people were found dead Sunday are marked here by red dots. One was on Highway 3 between Carman and Winkler. The second was on Highway 248 north of provincial road 242, just east of St. Eustache. The third was a home in Carman. (CBC Graphics)

Police said Carman RCMP found the body of a woman after responding to a report of a hit-and-run on Highway 3 at 7:30 a.m. The woman’s body was found in a ditch just off the highway.

At 10 a.m., Headingley RCMP responded to a vehicle on fire on Highway 248. Three children were pulled out of the burning vehicle by a witness before RCMP arrived. All three were declared dead at the scene.

Officers arrested the man at that location. Arseneault said there were no issues during the arrest.

Vehicles on a road that is blocked off.
A section of Highway 248, north of provincial road 424, near St. Eustache is blocked off as emergency crews respond to a crime scene on Sunday. (Karen Pauls/CBC)

The investigation then led officers to a residence in Carman where the body of another woman was located.

RCMP major crimes services, forensic identification services, collision reconstructionist unit and officers from Stonewall, Headingley and Carman detachments are investigating the deaths, Arseneault said.

Highway 248, from the junction with Road 65N to Main Street in St. Eustache, was closed in both directions as of 11 a.m. because officers were working on the road, according to Manitoba 511.

5 from Carman area: RCMP

Police didn’t provide the name of the suspect nor any further details, but Arseneault said RCMP believe he and the victims are known to each other.

Arseneault said police believe the people found dead are all from the Carman area.

“It’s absolutely horrific. I cannot believe it,” Carman Mayor Brent Owen said.

“It’s kind of mind-numbing to realize that something like this could happen in this community.”

Arseneault said the man in custody is the only suspect, and that there is no risk to public safety. 

Support is available for anyone affected by these reports. You can talk to a mental health professional via Wellness Together Canada by calling 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 686868 for youth or 741741 for adults. It is free and confidential.

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