New Information, renewed call for tips
On Sept. 13, 2022, the Manitoba RCMP issued an appeal to the public to submit tips and information in relation to the disappearance of Vernon Otto.
Based on the tips received, in conjunction with evidence gathered over the past four years, RCMP Major Crime Services is now investigating Vernon Otto’s disappearance as a homicide.
Vernon Otto, who was 66 when he went missing, met with his family on the morning of Tuesday, May 29, 2018, and said he was going to run errands, do yard work at his home near Stead, Manitoba, and planned to go look at a crawler tractor.
He was spoken to later that day at 1:00 pm, and was believed to be working in his field near Stead. This is the last confirmed contact anyone had with Vernon Otto.
At 4:50 pm, on May 29, 2018, Vernon Otto’s 2005 white extended cab truck with grey decals on the side was believed to have been travelling southbound on Highway 12, making a turn westbound onto Road 94 North.
A day later, on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at 5:30 pm, officers located Otto’s burned pickup truck a short distance from his residence on Road 94 northwest of Highway 12. The cause of the fire was determined to be arson.
INVESTIGATION RAMPS UP
Throughout the upcoming weeks, investigators with Major Crime Services will be in the Stead area to provide pamphlets to local residents and hang posters in local stores, churches, and community centres to gather new information.
“We strongly believe that people in the area may have seen Vernon’s truck on Highway 12 and local provincial roads near Stead early in the evening of May 29, 2018,” said Tara Seel, Media Relations Officer with the Manitoba RCMP. “There may be some reluctance by these witnesses to come forward, but we need those with information to contact investigators. Even a seemingly small detail could help investigators move this case forward.”
Investigators are looking to speak with anyone who had potential business dealings with Vernon regarding the purchase or sale of a crawler tractor, or any large construction/farming implement in May of 2018.
The Manitoba RCMP encourages anyone who has provided information previously, or has new information, to contact investigators through the RCMP Tip Line at 1-888-673-3316.
You can also submit your tip or check the status of any previous tips submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477.