The Winnipeg Police Service will be sharing more details on what happened to Eduardo Balaquit almost three years after his disappearance.
In the summer of 2018, Balaquit went missing before his early-morning June 4 shift. Police say when he arrived in the 300 block of Keewatin Street, one of his several jobs, at around 6 a.m. he was the victim of crime.
The investigation quickly changed to a homicide investigation.
"We can see by the way of Balaquit's pattern in his life. This was a man whose family was his number one priority, People described his as caring, sincere, and a loyal man that just tried to make a better life for his family than he had," Sergeant Wade McDonald with the WPS's Homicide Unit says. "He went to work that day and he never returned home."
Investigators have been unable to locate Eduardo’s remains. His family deserves closure.— Winnipeg Police (@wpgpolice) March 25, 2021
Anyone with information that can assist in this investigation is asked to contact the Winnipeg Police Service Homicide Unit at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477). pic.twitter.com/Ynu89gzHnG
When officers found Balaquit's van the next day, they saw the passenger window smashed in, but still has Balaquit's personal effects inside.
"Both his family and the Winnipeg Police Service made frequent pleas to the public for information relating to his disappearance and identified Eduardo as a victim of crime," the WPS says in a statement.
The investigation rocked the Filipino community as they took to the streets, hoping to learn more.
"I can't sit here today and stand in from of the podium and say how they are feeling, I can understand they are feeling some uncertainty. It was very challenging, overwhelming, it was a tragic event not only for the Filipino community but for the entire city of Winnipeg," McDonald says.
Investigators quickly began looking outside of Winnipeg city-limits, believing the area around Arborg to be important. Due to the ongoing investigation police could not reveal why Arborg is a location of interest.
The Winnipeg Police Service has since made an arrest, a now 35-year-old man in Saskatoon. He is being charged with Manslaughter and is in custody with the help of the Saskatoon Major Crimes Unit. The suspect previously worked at the same place as Balaquit and lived in Winnipeg at the time.
McDonald could not share more details on the motive of the crime.
On the two-year anniversary of Balaquit going missing, his family shared a statement, hopeful he saw still alive.
“It’s been a long and difficult two years. Our only wish is for our dad to walk through our doors and finally say, ‘I’m home.’ It’s never too late to do the right thing, if you have any information, please help us bring him home,' they said.
Police have not recovered Balaquit's body.
"His family deserves closure. Detectives believe someone could provide insight into his whereabouts and are asking they contact the Homicide Unit to give the family peace."
Those with information are being asked to call 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).
An earlier release from the WPS said the age of the suspect was 28. This has since been corrected.