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Police Arrest Man in Death of Eduardo Balaquit

March 25, 2021 11:54 AM | News

Eduardo Balaquit

Eduardo Balaquit, missing since June 4, 2018 (WPS supplied photo)

WINNIPEG — Police in Saskatoon have arrested a 35-year-old man in connection with the disappearance of Eduardo Balaquit in Winnipeg nearly three years ago.

The family man, who was 59 at the time, was last seen June 4, 2018 at a business in the 300 block of Keewatin Street at around 6 p.m.

Police highlighted Balaquit’s case last June when they released photos of a blue 2010-2015 Ford Escape SE thought to be involved in his disappearance.

On March 23, officers with the Winnipeg police homicide unit, with assistance from Saskatoon police, arrested Kyle Alexander James Pietz, 35, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

“Eduardo was a hard-working man,” Sgt. Wade McDonald said Thursday. 

“He worked at this business for a number of years and had just gone to work and never returned home.”

McDonald said Pietz had lived in Winnipeg and was an employee at the same business where Balaquit worked at the time of the disappearance.

McDonald did not provide details on a possible motive or what police believe happened between the two men.

Balaquit’s van had been found with its windows smashed and his belongings inside.

“It was quickly concluded that Eduardo was a victim of a crime,” said McDonald.

Police made several public pleas for information about the man’s disappearance over the years. 

There was also an extensive search for the his body, which included an area around Arborg, north of Winnipeg. Balaquit’s remains have never been found.

His disappearance shook the city’s tight-knit Filipino community, said McDonald.

“It was very challenging, overwhelming,” he said.

“It was a traumatic event not only for the Filipino community but for the entire city of Winnipeg.”

Anyone with further information on the case is asked to contact police at (204) 986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

— With files from The Canadian Press