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This article was published 30/11/2018 (495 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
RURAL MUNICIPALITY OF Taché — Dense bush, tall trees, thick grass and eerie silence surround the remote place where the remains of Thelma Krull were found last month, after the 57-year-old woman had been missing for more than three years.
A thumbnail-size piece of bright orange tape marks the start of a brush-covered path near the ditch and leads deep into the heavily wooded area; a path barely discernible amid fallen branches knotted in long grass and now covered in a snowy blanket.
Yellow, pink, orange and blue pieces of plastic or cloth are tied to various trees and shrubs; markers of various hunters’ routes across the section of land.
One colour may mark the path Krull’s killer would have taken to leave her remains, and where a hunter found them Oct. 27 because of a fallen deer.
The wooded section of property is near the intersection of Municipal Road 52 North and Chemin Perrin Road — east of Highway 12 and north of the Trans-Canada Highway — on what a local man confirmed Thursday is Crown land, which means it is accessible to the public.
"For anybody to dump that body in here, they’d have to know this area. This is the only half-section of Crown land that nobody would regularly be on," said a man who lives nearby, a rifle slung over his shoulder, as he was about to head out hunting. He did not want his name published.
"Up until the last couple of years, where she was found, half of this quarter-section here was all swamp ground. The only reason she popped up out of the ground there, if she was buried, is because it dried up."
Police confirmed Thursday the remains were identified as those of Krull, who was last seen July 11, 2015, in the East Kildonan area near Valley Gardens.
The man said he heard about the discovery of human remains the day it happened, and witnessed the investigation by RCMP and Winnipeg police.
"When they found the body (Saturday, Oct. 27), there was a policeman sitting there the whole time from eight o’clock Saturday night until Monday or Tuesday afternoon at two o’clock. They were in there with forensic vehicles, the coroner’s vehicles. It was like a parade," he said.
Police said they believe Krull was forcibly taken from Winnipeg, and her killer is connected to the area where her remains were found.
"She was essentially found almost right in the middle of the quarter-section, or just past the first quarter-section," the man said, noting the Crown land stretches for almost a kilometre north and 1.5 km east from the southwest corner where he had parked his truck Thursday.
"She was found darn near in the middle of it. So somebody dragged her in there, or walked her in there; it was a chore," the man said.
"I’ve been living out here for 10 years and I’ve been hunting out here for years. I know what this piece of property is like. Somebody had some ambition to get her in there that far… There’s a reason they’re calling it a homicide and investigating it as such. You’d have to be stupid to not go along with that one."
Chemin Perrin Road, the gravel road that borders the property, is a narrow single lane to the east. There are no homes along it facing the Crown land between Municipal roads 52 and 53.
"It’s just very close to home, and it’s very unsettling," said a woman, who lives nearby and did not want her name published, as she called her two dogs to keep them close by.
"You have a million questions. Is that a night the dogs didn’t settle down? You don’t know, right? As soon as I saw the police around, I thought of Thelma Krull. I’ve always thought of her. We’re pretty much the same age, grandmas, and never mind the fact that all she did was go for a walk. We can’t do that now? It makes me very angry."
She gestured down Chemin Perrin Road. "Back then, my daughter would go for walks and jogs all the time over there."
The man said Thursday he would never go in the area where Krull’s remains were found because it was so swampy.
"Whoever did this, they knew that this was the only piece of Crown land around where they had quick road access. They must have been around here before," he said.
Updated on Friday, November 30, 2018 at 6:40 AM CST: Corrects spelling of Taché
3:27 PM: Edited.