Suspect charged in death of Winnipeg Filipino who went missing 3 years ago
A 35-year-old suspect has been charged with manslaughter in connection with the homicide and disappearance of Winnipegger Eduardo Balaquit nearly three years ago, Winnipeg Police announced Thursday, March 25.
Kyle Alexander James Pietz, 35, was arrested in Saskatoon on Tuesday, and police are not looking for any other suspects.
“Sadly, investigators have been unable to locate Eduardo’s remains. His family deserves closure,” said Sgt. Wade McDonald of the police service’s homicide unit. Philippine Canadian News.Com (PCN.Com) tried to reach Edward Balaquit, a son of Eduardo, but no response has been received at posting.
The 59-year-old father was last seen between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on June 4, 2018, near 380 Keewatin St., where he was supposed to be doing his regular janitorial work. Pietz worked at the same business, police say.
Balaquit’s van was found nearby the next day with the passenger window smashed in, a cellphone on the seat and personal belongings inside.
A number of searches were organized to look for evidence in Balaquit’s disappearance and in 2020, the path led into the Interlake region.
That year, police announced that a blue Ford Escape was seen in the area of Balaquit’s workplace the night of his disappearance. It later traveled to the Arborg area, said police, who, along with Balaquit’s family and friends and strangers, searched extensively for signs of him but without success.
“As for specifics on how he died, we’re not going to get into that right now,” McDonald said.
Balaquit and Pietz had no relationship other than knowing each other through the business, said McDonald, who wouldn’t comment on any possible motive for the alleged crime.
Asked if Balaquit just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, McDonald talked about Balaquit’s character.
“Eduardo was a hardworking man. He worked several jobs here in the city. He worked at this business for a number of years and had just gone to work and never returned home,” McDonald said.
“That’s pretty hard for investigators to swallow, and I think it’s pretty hard for the community to swallow as well.”
Police urge anyone with any information to contact them at 204-986-6508 or to leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).