Vernon Karl Otto’s disappearance now being investigated as homicide

RCMP believe a Manitoba man who went missing more than four years ago may have been killed.

RCMP put out a news release two weeks ago, renewing their call for information about what happened to Vernon Karl Otto, who was 66 when he was reported last seen on May 29, 2018.

Tips they received and evidence gathered over the last four years have led them to suspect Otto was killed, RCMP said in a release on Tuesday.

“We did have suspicions this was a homicide, but until we received the tips and we combined that with the evidence we had gathered, we weren’t in a position to publicly deem it a homicide until today,” said Tara Seel, a media relations officer with the Manitoba RCMP.

“What we believe and what we can prove are two different things.”

Otto met with his family on the morning of May 29, police said.

He told them he was off to run errands and do yard work at his home in the Stead, Man., area and also said he planned to go look at a crawler tractor, RCMP said.

The last confirmed contact anyone had with him was around 1 p.m. that afternoon, when he was believed to be working in a field near Stead, RCMP said.

The next day, officers found his truck a short distance from his home, on Road 94 N., west of Highway 12. It was burned and investigators believe the cause was arson.

Investigators want to speak to anyone who may have seen or had contact with Otto on May 29, 2018, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Anyone with information is asked to come forward and contact investigators by calling the tip line at 1-888-673-3316. 

You can also submit a tip anonymously or check the status of any previous tips submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477.

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