Warning: some details may be troubling to some.
One person is in custody following the discovery of five suspicious deaths in and around the Carman area, as well as the R.M. of Cartier, early Sunday morning.
In a late Sunday afternoon news conference, Manitoba RCMP detailed their preliminary investigation into three separate incidents they say are linked.
"Firstly, on behalf of the RCMP, I want to express my condolences to the families and friends who have lost a loved one today," said Inspector Tim Arsenault. "As a parent, I simply can't imagine the enormity of your loss. Please know that the RCMP and everyone in Manitoba stands with 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."
At approximately 7:30 a.m., Carman RCMP responded to what was reported to be a hit and run on Hwy. 3, approximately 6 1/2 kilometers south of Carman. When officers arrived, RCMP say the body of an adult female was found just off the highway in a nearby ditch. She was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Then at 10:00 a.m, Headingley RCMP received a call of a vehicle on fire on Hwy. 248 north of PR 424 in the R.M. of Cartier. While officers were en route to the scene, a witness was able to pull three young children from the burning vehicle. Tragically, RCMP confirm all three children were declared deceased at the scene. It was here that a 29-year-old male was taken into custody and according to Arsenault, without incident.
Ongoing investigation led officers to a home in Carman where the body of another female was discovered.
As a result, RCMP Major Crime Services, Forensic Identification Services, a Forensic Collision Reconstructionist and officers from Stonewall, Headingley and Carman Detachments are currently investigating. It is believed, noted RCMP, that the adult male in custody and all five deceased individuals are known to each other.
“This is a tragic day for so many people who have lost a loved one today, for the community of Carman and for this province,” said Inspector Tim Arsenault. “There are many questions which still need to be answered. You can be assured our officers are working and gathering information so we can speak to them (the questions).”
Meantime, Carman Mayor Brent Owen said in a phone conversation with PembinaValleyOnline following the RCMP news conference that he was saddened to hear of the tragic loss, noting the community lost five of its citizens today.
"It's just horrific," he said.
Owen noted, he understands that a suspect is in RCMP custody and that there is no threat the public.