Winnipeg police looking for ’person of interest’ in deaths of two street men

Police in Winnipeg have removed trash bins from a downtown alley as officers investigate the weekend deaths of two men who spent much of their time on the streets.

WINNIPEG — Police in Winnipeg have removed trash bins from a downtown alley as officers investigate the weekend deaths of two men who spent much of their time on the streets.

A lane near a homeless shelter was blocked off with police tape and a flatbed was used to remove the tarp-covered bins.

Police say they believe one suspect who was unknown to the men is responsible for both homicides.

Investigators say the bodies of the men — one in his 40s and one in his 60s — were found less than a block apart on Saturday.

Police are searching for a “person of interest” who may have had contact with them and could provide valuable information.

They are also looking for a man and a woman who were in the back lane on Friday night.

Sgt. John O’Donovan says police are asking the homeless to be careful, avoid secluded areas and walk with others if possible.

One of the men who died was homeless and the other man frequented the downtown, although he did have a home.

“Both the victims are vulnerable persons from our community here in Winnipeg. They are vulnerable in the way they suffer from mental health and/or substance abuse, and they spend their lives on the streets,” he said at a news conference Sunday.

The investigation has revealed both men were killed within four hours of each other.

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“That just leads us to be cautious that there may be more problems and more deaths, and we certainly want to prevent that and get on this as quickly as possible.”

O’Donovan said investigators haven’t ruled out the possibility the cases may be linked to the death of a homeless man in the city on April 10.