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Fingerprint Match Credited with Helping Identify Suspect in Manitoba Kidnapping Case

January 12, 2023 5:14 PM | The Canadian Press


By The Canadian Press

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The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

WINNIPEG — A recent fingerprint match has led to the arrest of a suspect in a kidnapping case from 2019, Manitoba RCMP said Thursday.

Police initially sought the public’s help after a 16-year-old girl was abducted while out walking her dog near the community of Landmark, southeast of Winnipeg. They released a composite sketch of a man they said forced her into a pickup truck by threatening her with a knife.

The girl escaped when the vehicle slowed down and made her way to a house. A stolen truck was later found with fingerprints that could not be identified, police said.

The breakthrough in the case came when someone was arrested on an unrelated matter and their fingerprints were put in a national database, which turned up a match, Insp. Tim Arseneault said at a news conference in Winnipeg.

“That fingerprint was actually a witness,” Arseneault said, adding that it led to the identification of a suspect.

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Hercules Nicholas Chief, 24, from Steinbach, Man., was arrested Tuesday and charged with kidnapping, assault with a weapon and other offences.

The suspect and victim did not know each other and the kidnapping appears to have been random, Arsenault said.

He praised the victim’s bravery. She jumped out of the truck after being driven about six kilometres.

“It was a dead end and the vehicle started to slow down. And she, I believe, was forced into the back seat and she managed to escape from there.”

Assistant Commissioner Rob Hill, commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP, said he hopes the arrest of the suspect “brings some closure to the victim and reassurance to the community that we will do all we can to solve these serious crimes.”

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Tags: Crime | Manitoba | RCMP