Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.

VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Update:

Bellingham Police are reporting a possible sighting of a man who escaped from the Mission Institution’s minimum security unit last night.

Original story:

A man convicted of first-degree murder has escaped Mission Institution’s minimum security unit.

When prison staff were conducting the end-of-night head count at 10 p.m., they realized that Roderick Muchikekwanape was not present, Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) said in a news release.

The Mission RCMP detachment was contacted at 10:30 p.m., and issued a warrant for his arrest for being unlawfully at large, said Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP.

He said a risk assessment was conducted with CSC and the Parole Board of Canada, and there’s nothing to indicate he’s a threat to the general public.

“While we are aware that Roderick Muchikekwanape has a history of significant violence, we do not believe that he is an immediate threat to the general public,” said Berze. “If you see him, do not approach and call your local police.”

The Mission RCMP has assigned a team of five or six investigators from the serious crime unit, Berze said.

Muchikekwanape is currently serving a life sentence. In 1998, he was convicted of murdering Kimberly Clarke in Winnipeg as she was walking home from a party. Clarke was 36-years old, and a mother of three.

Clarke’s body was found floating in Red River, which passes through the center of Winnipeg. She had been sexually assaulted and battered, according to the autopsy report.

Muchikekwanape, 41, is described as six-feet tall, weighing 217 pounds, having medium complexion, and black hair and brown eyes.

CSC and RCMP officers will be investigating how Muchikekwanape was able to escape the prison, Berze said, but they are not prepared to talk about those specifics yet.

He did disclose that Muchikekwanape left the prison with a number of his personal belongings, an amount that “could fit into the size of a duffle bag,” and he was last seen in the prison at 7 p.m., Berze said.

The initial stages of the investigation involve speaking with the last CSC employees and neighbouring inmates he was in contact with, looking at CSC phone records and CCTV footage, canvassing the nearby neighbourhood, and then contacting family and friends and identifying places of interest, according to Berze.

“Avenues usually identify themselves from there,” Berze said. At this point within the detachment, it’s all hands on deck. So we have everyone on the lookout actively looking for him.”

Berze said he is not aware of Muchikekwanape being outside the prison for CSC programs.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts are asked to contact the Mission RCMP immediately.

“It’s important for the public to be diligent to be on the lookout, and to report anything at all that they may see. Any piece of information, or even suspicious activity, that they see could be helpful in locating and arresting him,” Berze said.

RELATED: Staff shortages plague Mission Institution following recovery from COVID-19 outbreak

Mission

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton Curling Club ice
Penticton Curling Club COVID cases increase

“Our hearts are with our members who are sick right now”

Mandatory masks has caused a division of opinion and increased hostility by the anti-mask movement. (Western News file photo)
OPINION: ‘I wear a mask for people like this daughter who hasn’t seen her mom since February’

‘Her story broke me…maybe because I had just watched protesters laughing in their unmasked revelry’

Steve French caught the halo moon on his camera on Saturday night. (Steve French Facebook)
Did you see the halo moon last night?

The halo is actually millions of tiny ice crystals

Movie crews filmed a holiday parade in Summerland in July. The parade, filmed on Main Street in Summerland, is for the movie, The Christmas Yule Blog. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Richard Brodeur discussing his paintings with the executive director of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan Kirsteen McCulloch. (Contributed)
Former Canucks goalie King Richard’s art displayed at Kelowna gallery

Richard Brodeur starred in the Vancouver Canucks’ 1982 Stanley Cup run

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A confirmed case of COVID-19 at Vernon’s Silver Star Elementary School has been reported. (Google Maps)
COVID case confirmed at Okanagan elementary school

Member of Silver Star Elementary community in Vernon self-isolating at home; parents alerted Nov. 28

Real Canadian Superstore in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
Kelowna Superstore employee tests positive for COVID-19

The last day the employee worked was Nov. 23

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Most Read