By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — Manitoba Mounties say they have located a vehicle belonging to an army reservist relieved of his duties over allegations that he belongs to a neo-Nazi group.
RCMP have said Patrik Mathews was last seen by family members in Beausejour, northeast of Winnipeg, on Aug. 24.
His vehicle was found abandoned Monday on a rural property near Piney, in southern Manitoba near the United States border.
Officers say they believe his vehicle had been there for about a week and that he was not found during a search of the area.
Mathews, a combat engineer with 38 Canadian Brigade Group in Winnipeg, was featured in a Winnipeg Free Press story two weeks ago linking him to a neo-Nazi group.
The Department of National Defence has said that the 26-year-old had earlier requested to leave the military and that a decision was made last week that he be released.
The military said Mathews had turned in his uniforms and was never issued any military weapons.
In addition to a military investigation, RCMP were reportedly conducting their own investigation. Officers said they had raided a house in Beausejour and seized a number of weapons, but no charges were laid.
Mounties said Tuesday that they continue to search for Mathews as a missing person. No warrant has been issued for his arrest.
“The RCMP believe Mr. Mathews may be under a significant amount of pressure due to this ongoing investigation and the extensive media coverage it has garnered,” said a news release.
“Anyone who sees him is asked to call police immediately and to avoid engaging with him.”
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has asked Canada’s military ombudsman to investigate racism in the Canadian Forces following several high-profile events and a report linking service members to right-wing extremists and hate groups.
A military intelligence report last year said officials were aware of 30 active service members who were part of a hate group or had made statements that were discriminatory or racist.