On November 25, 2022, at approximately 4:30 pm, the Portage la Prairie RCMP responded to a hotel within the city following a report that a male, who was in a van in the parking lot, was acting erratically and possibly consuming drugs.
Upon arrival, officers approached the vehicle and attempted to speak with the male. The male spoke briefly with officers before putting his vehicle in reverse and ramming a police vehicle. The male then accelerated the vehicle forward in an apparent effort to strike the responding officers and reversed again into the police vehicle before driving off. Police were able to determine that the van was stolen from the Winnipeg area.
A pursuit was initiated by responding officers. Due to the dangerous driving exhibited by the suspect, including driving into oncoming traffic on Highway 1, the pursuit was stopped. Officers continued to conduct extensive patrols of the Portage la Prairie area for the van.
At 5:20 pm, officers were advised of a 911 call from an individual who was living just east of Portage la Prairie. The 911 call had been disconnected but a male and female voice could be heard before the phone went silent. Officers went to the residence and learned that a 25-year-old female and her 2-year-old daughter had been kidnapped and their vehicle had been taken. The suspect’s van was located nearby.
Information led officers to believe the suspect was heading towards Winnipeg.
Every available RCMP officer in the area was mobilized to assist with the search and the Winnipeg Police Service was also notified and were assisting with multiple units. RCMP Air Services and WPS AIR1 were also called to assist.
At approximately 6:30pm, the abducted female contacted police indicating that the male suspect had fled the vehicle. She indicated that both her, and her two-year-old daughter, were safe and were in the Polo Park area. The victim and the male suspect were not known to each other.
An Amber Alert for this incident was created and was in the process of being sent through the Alert Ready system when the female victim contacted officers.
Through the help of the public, the suspect has been identified as Michael Stephen Klimchuk, a 62-year-old male from Winnipeg. He is 5’8″, 220 lbs, has long brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket and light coloured pants. He is believed to be in the Winnipeg area.
Michale Klimchuk is wanted on the following charges:
Forcible confinement x2
Abduction of a person under 14
Assault with weapon on a police officer x3
Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
Possession of stolen property over $5000
Anyone with information about his location is asked to call their local police of jurisdiction immediately.
The Manitoba RCMP would like to thank the Winnipeg Police Service, Manitoba First Nation Police Service and the Province of Manitoba’s Emergency Measures Organization for their assistance during this incident.