A William Whyte house that was demolished after a fire is now at the centre of a homicide investigation.
One month ago on June 20, 381 Alfred Avenue caught fire. Authorities were called to the area close to 6:00 a.m. to fight it, but the blaze was too intense, resulting in the demolition of the home.
Authorities say that when the fire was initially investigated, they believed that it was burnt down due to arson, but now, RCMP Manitoba believes there is more to the story.
"We believe that it was an arson, and this arson is linked to the murder. We believe this home contains physical evidence relating to our homicide investigation," Superintendent Michael Koppang, Officer in Charge of Major Crime Services says.
t happened to Steinbach resident Gerhard Reimer-Wiebe.
Sorting through the rubble, investigators with RCMP Manitoba will be on the scene for the next three days resulting in the closure of Alfred Avenue between Salter Street and Aikins Street. Authorities believe the house fire could be involved in the homicide of 27-year-old Reimer-Wiebe.
Koppang says thanks to tips, investigators were able to discover the significance of the location regarding the murder.
"Our officers are beginning the difficult task of removing all of the debris from this residence," he says. "RCMP forensic experts will shift through every fragment looking for evidence."
Forensic identification services and arson investigators are on-scene during the collection of evidence.
Collecting the rubble and debris this week, RCMP investigators will be pouring over evidence at a warehouse. Koppang says this could take weeks, but are optimistic.
"I can tell you with confidence that it is progressing rapidly and today is another significant step in finding the truth of what happened to Gerhard."
Koppang says that thanks to tips from the public, the case is moving quickly.
"This case has had a lot of public involvement, with over 250 tips received so far. These tips have propelled the investigation forward and we continue to ask the public for help."
Officers have been going door-to-door in the area of the fire to collect information, but authorities believe others may know more about the homicide.
Specifically, officers are looking for any information they may have regarding Reimer-Wiebe's activities between May 15 and June 20.
RCMP Manitoba is asking for those with any information that could aid investigators to contact them at 431-489-8551.