‘Any news is hope’ Family, police seek answers on anniversary of Eduardo Balaquit's disappearance
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/06/2019 (1466 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
On the one-year anniversary of his father’s disappearance, Edward Balaquit made a public plea.
“To the person, or people, who are responsible for this, it’s never too late to do the right thing,” he said at a news conference Tuesday, accompanied by his brother, Erwin. “Looking for my dad, that’s the standing goal for my family.
“If anything, just provide information so we can bring him home.”
Winnipeg police said they believe Eduardo Balaquit, last seen about about 6 p.m. on June 4, 2018, became “a victim of crime” shortly after arriving for work as a night cleaner at Westcon Equipment & Rentals Ltd. (380 Keewatin St.).
The 59-year-old didn’t come home that night. Police later found his Dodge Caravan minivan on the 300 block of Keewatin.
At Tuesday’s news conference, police released a stock photo of a blue 2010-15 Ford Escape SE and said the small SUV was in the area around the time Balaquit went missing.
Police believe the same vehicle was later in the area of Arborg, a town of 1,200 located about 100 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
“This vehicle might not be familiar to the residents of Arborg and might only have been there for a short period of time,” said Sgt. Wade McDonald of the WPS homicide unit, who has been overseeing the Balaquit investigation.
McDonald said police want to determine the exact whereabouts of the blue Ford Escape before, after and during June 4, 2018. “So we are asking people of this city and this province: if you think you recognize the vehicle or have any information, please contact the homicide unit at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers (204-786-TIPS).”
Edward said his family is struggling with not knowing what happened to Balaquit, so the police release about the vehicle is encouraging.
“Any news is hope. There’s no information saying otherwise that he’s not coming home right now. This information is just something that will hopefully bring him home. Anything is better than no news, so this is good news for us,” he said.
“Anger, fear, sorrow. There’s a lot of emotions. I can’t say one is more powerful than the other. Sometimes, it’s mixed together. Sometimes, one is more powerful than the other,” Edward said.
“Sadness is usually the one that happens more frequently. It’s hard. It’s been hard.”
McDonald, who would not rule out further police searches in the Arborg area, declined to specify why the vehicle may be significant nor give any details about the investigation’s link to Arborg.
He said the case has included interviews with multiple people, hours of surveillance video has been viewed, banking records have been checked, and social media sites monitored.
“Investigators also want to remind people to be cognizant of any unusual items they may find, particularly in Arborg… Items that may seem insignificant to the casual observer may have significant relevance to the investigation,” McDonald said.
The two men whose photos were released by police last July have been identified and interviewed. They are not deemed to be suspects.
Balaquit is described as being approximately 5-4 and weighing 155 pounds, with a medium build. He is Asian in appearance and has black hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a black zip-up sweater, black pants and black shoes.
“Eduardo was an extremely hard worker, working several different jobs. He is a family man, and he raised a beautiful family in Winnipeg who are desperately searching for answers. His family wants, and deserves answers — as does our entire community,” said McDonald.