Eric Wildman charged in connection with death of neighbour Clifford Joseph: RCMP

A Manitoba man who was the subject of an RCMP manhunt is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the death of his neighbour.

Manitoba RCMP said Eric Wildman, 34, from the RM of St. Clements is facing the charge in connection with the death of 40-year-old Clifford Joseph.

Wildman was the subject of a manhunt in June, after RCMP received a report that Joseph was missing.

“We became aware pretty quickly that his disappearance was suspicious,” said Superintendent Michael Koppang, the officer in charge of Manitoba RCMP’s Major Crime Services, in a news release.

“We could not have anticipated at the outset the events that would come next – a manhunt, shots fired at officers, and finally an arrest. Through all of it, our investigators worked tirelessly to find out what happened to Mr. Joseph.”

He was arrested by Ontario Provincial Police at a home in Prince Edward County just outside Belleville. During the search, RCMP warned the public Wildman may be armed and dangerous and released photos of police-related clothing and equipment recovered from his vehicle along with firearms.

He was eventually charged in Manitoba with three firearms offences and possession of a prohibited device without a licence – charges stemming from searches earlier this month of a vehicle he owned and his property south of Stead, Man, in the R.M. of St. Clements.

RCMP said on July 18, human remains were found in Stead, Man., and investigators later confirmed that it is Joseph.

Police said Wildman was formally arrested and charged with first-degree murder at the Headingley Correction Centre Thursday, where he was already in custody on the previous charges.

Police said Wildman will appear next in a Winnipeg courtroom on Wednesday.

He remains in custody. None of the allegations have been tested in court.

- With files from Josh Crabb