The owner of the car in which a woman’s body was found in the trunk Thursday afternoon has been charged with second-degree murder.
Michael Daniel Bourget, 28, of Winnipeg turned himself in early Thursday morning, police said. He is charged in the death of Jenilee Rose Ballantyne, 22.
Police would not say what the relationship was between the two. They became embroiled in a dispute early Thursday morning in a home in the 500-block of Kylemore Avenue in Fort Rouge.
A source familiar with the investigation said a third person in the Kylemore home witnessed the attack on Ballantyne and fled. This individual later called police and officers rushed to the home at 4:30 a.m. but found it empty.
From there, the search for Ballantyne and Bourget took officers to a trailer park in Lorette, where they believed Bourget may have taken her. Residents said they saw Winnipeg police cruisers driving through the trailer park at 7:20 a.m. The source said police initially tracked Bourget’s whereabouts through his cellphone signal but they lost the signal at St. Mary’s Road and the Perimeter.
Further information, which police would not divulge, led them to Bourget’s late-'90s model Honda Civic parked on Pear Tree Bay in St. Vital. That’s when they discovered the deceased.
Police would not say the cause of death. An autopsy is pending.
While the RCMP are dealing with eight homicides across the province this month, this is the first for the WPS. Last year, the first homicide in Winnipeg took place Jan. 23 and there were two homicides by Jan. 15 in 2011. In 2010, the first homicide wasn’t recorded until late March. But in 2009, Winnipeg police were dealing with three homicides by Jan. 21.