Girl, 15, charged with murder, robbery after man’s body discovered in Assiniboine Park Police provide no details of circumstance
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/03/2022 (386 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A 15-year-old Stonewall girl is accused of murdering and robbing a Winnipeg man whose body was found in a car in Assiniboine Park early Saturday morning.
City police officers discovered Paul Enns, 43, in a secluded parking lot off Conservatory Drive, just north of Corydon Avenue, when they responded to a well-being call at about 3 a.m.
A park security officer alerted police after approaching the car and seeing Enns dead inside, a city hall source said.
The teen, whose hometown is 35 kilometres from the homicide scene in Tuxedo, has been charged with second-degree murder and robbery.
The girl, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, appeared in court at the Manitoba Youth Centre on Wednesday following her arrest a day earlier. She is due back in court Tuesday.
A source with knowledge of the investigation said another arrest is expected.
Police would not say if Enns and the suspect knew each other or what brought them together in the parking lot, which is surrounded by trees near Assiniboine Park’s southeast boundary.
“I know there’s lots of questions over the circumstances, but I just can’t provide that right now,” spokeswoman Const. Dani McKinnon said.
Grieving family and friends shared their memories of Enns on Facebook, where his mother Claudette announced his death in a post Monday.
“My beautiful son who was so kind and loved everyone is gone,” she wrote. “I will give you more details when the police tell us more. Please pray for our family and please pray for Paul Enns.”
“My beautiful son who was so kind and loved everyone is gone… I will give you more details when the police tell us more. Please pray for our family and please pray for Paul Enns.” – Claudette, mother
In response to messages of condolence, Claudette Enns said her family had been through “the worst day of our lives.”
According to his social media profiles, Enns was single and a self-employed developer of cryptocurrency financial software and apps. He had worked various jobs in recent years, including tech support and sales.
He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a bachelor of science, majoring in computer science, in 2003, a LinkedIn profile stated.
Friends told the Free Press he was divorced.
“He was really smart, a child prodigy,” said a childhood friend, who had not seen Enns in years.
“He was very brilliant. He was energetic and happy,” said Rick Thornton, a friend from London, Ont. “He was a hopeless romantic. He had a bad habit where he wouldn’t put himself first.”
In recent months, Enns’ Facebook timeline was filled with posts opposing COVID-19 restrictions. His profile also featured far-out conspiracy theories, cryptocurrency market trends, selfies showing off new hair styles and pictures of a BMW car.
“He was not afraid to go down the rabbit hole. He would investigate (theories),” said Thornton.
Enns told Thornton he became a self-made millionaire a few years ago through cryptocurrency investments, but he no longer had the same wealth. At the time of his death, he was investing in cryptocurrency projects, said Thornton.
When they last spoke Friday afternoon, Enns did not mention any plans for that evening or indicate he was going to meet anyone, said Thornton, who learned of his friend’s death when he saw Claudette Enns’ post.
By then, Thornton figured something was wrong because Enns hadn’t been responding to phone calls or text messages all weekend.
“At first, I think I was in disbelief. I started crying,” he said. “I just want to pick up the phone and call him… and I can’t.”
“At first, I think I was in disbelief. I started crying… I just want to pick up the phone and call him… and I can’t.” – Thornton, friend
He said Enns was excitedly planning an adventure in which he planned to drive across Canada in a truck or recreational vehicle.
Former neighbour Cathy Rencz recalled the days Enns and her son played together as children in their Waverley Heights neighbourhood in the early 1990s.
“Paul was a really sweet kid and super smart. I expected him to become a scientist because he was just curious and asking lots of questions about things, something normal kids don’t do,” Rencz said.
Rencz was shocked when she found out Enns had died.
“No parent wants to be the one whose child dies before them,” she said, adding she doesn’t know anything about what happened or why Enns was with a girl that young.
She said Claudette Enns told her the crime scene was awful.
Enns’ death is Winnipeg’s eighth homicide of 2022. Last year, the city recorded its eighth slaying in mid-May.
Yellow evidence markers were visible in the snow next to a dark-coloured BMW within a police cordon in the parking lot Saturday.
Security found the victim and contacted police, confirmed Laura Cabak, a spokeswoman for Assiniboine Park Conservancy.
“Park security perform regular patrols of the park around the clock, 365 days a year,” she said.
Cabak said security officers have not received any complaints recently about people or cars being in the park’s parking lots late at night.
Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood) said residents haven’t complained to his office about crime or anti-social behaviour in the area.
He is alarmed there have been so many homicides so early in the year.
“I’m gravely concerned at the lack of attention paid to public safety in Winnipeg.” – Coun. Kevin Klein
“I’m gravely concerned at the lack of attention paid to public safety in Winnipeg,” said Klein.
Anyone with information about Enns’ death is asked to call the Winnipeg Police Service major crimes unit at 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 204-786-TIPS (8477).
— With files from Erik Pindera and Dean Pritchard
As a general assignment reporter, Chris covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.