Selkirk RCMP received a report that 40-year-old Clifford Joseph was missing in the RM of St. Clements on June 7th. RCMP said Joseph’s 1997 Ford Ranger, was located abandoned in a rural area, off Road 44 East later that day.
RCMP investigators had enough evidence to determine that Joseph’s disappearance was suspicious in nature on June 11th, and the RCMP Major Crime Services took the lead on the investigation.
Police said Eric Paul Wildman, 34, from the RM of St. Clements was a person of interest in the disappearance of Joseph. On June 11th, Wildman’s vehicle was recovered. During a search of the vehicle, officers found firearms, police tactical equipment, police patches, and other items resembling police clothing.
He was formally charged with Unsafe Transportation of a Firearm and Possession of a Prohibited Device without a License. There is a warrant for his arrest on those charges.
RCMP said They have reason to believe that Wildman is a suspect in the homicide of Joseph. He is considered armed and dangerous, and police ask that he not be approached. Superintendent Michael Koppang said “At this time, we consider Eric Wildman to be dangerous and potentially armed. Our officers across southern Manitoba are trying to locate him and we are also working closely with the Winnipeg Police Service as he was last seen in the East Kildonan area. This situation continues to change, and we are committed to keeping the public informed of any developments.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 431-489-8551.
Update June 17th
RCMP have surveillance footage showing Eric Wildman at the Lowe’s, on Panet Road, in Winnipeg on June 11, at 6:41 pm. Wildman is then seen entering a taxi cab at 6:55 pm that dropped him off at the Winnipeg International Airport where he enters the terminal and approaches a car rental kiosk at 7:25 pm where he rented a 2020 Chevy Equinox.
RCMP said Wildman was spotted on June 15, 2021, in the Lockport area. He was driving the grey 2020 Chevy Equinox and was seen heading east on Highway 44. Police ask if anyone sees Eric Wildman or this vehicle or has any information as to his whereabouts, to call 911 immediately.
Update June 18th
On June 17th OPP received 3 reports of a vehicle with the matching license plate at a residence just outside of Belleville, Ontario. OPP deployed tactical resources to secure the residence and worked with their OPP counter-parts to assist in preparing a warrant.
During the process shots were fired at the officers. Police were able to end the situation through negotiations, resulting in the arrest of Mr. Wildman and another male occupant of the residence.
Det.-Insp Brad Collins said they are also investigating the attempted murder of OPP officers.
Update July 27th
RCMP Major Crime Services investigators have confirmed that the remains located on the morning of July 18, 2021, in Stead, Manitoba belong to Clifford Joseph.
Police have earlier confirmed that Joseph’s disappearance is being investigated as a homicide and that Eric Wildman is considered a suspect in the investigation.
No arrests have been made in relation to the disappearance of Joseph, and no charges have been laid.
Update September 10th
On September 9th, RCMP Manitoba Major Crime Services investigators have formally arrested and charged Eric Wildman, 34, from the RM of St. Clements, with First Degree Murder in the death of 40-year-old Clifford Joseph.