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

Victory Church homeless shelter had the highest calls for police service above everywhere else, at 290 calls for service, in the first three months of the year. (Jesse Day Western News)
UPDATE: Human error doubled data about calls for police to Penticton’s homeless shelters

Police have now partnered with Interior Health to have a nurse come with them to calls

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Fun in Penticton is being promoted through banners going up along Main and Westminster. (Suzanne White Western News)
Banners go up in downtown celebrating fun in Penticton

From beach or biking time to dining or shopping, the banners promote things to do

(File photo)
Penticton, Summerland RCMP having success with online crime reporting

They have also added new crimes that can be reported online

Parkway Elementary Gr. 4 and 5 students have created an art project displayed for sale at businesses around Penticton with money raised going back to the school, local charity and internationally. (Submitted)
Penticton elementary students artwork displayed around Penticton

Parkway Elementary Grade 4/5s have art at Lakeside Resort, Blendz and Dragon’s Den

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Most Read