Missing Sooke man found dead was murdered in targeted killing

Written by Britt Santowski of Sooke PocketNews

Sooke RCMP are not releasing much information on the murder of Michael Widner. They issued a release on Thursday and held a press conference at 1:00 p.m. in front of the Sooke RCMP station.

According to Sooke RCMP Staff Sergeant Jeff McArthur, Widner “was the subject of ongoing investigations for a period of time.”

A search of civil court records shows that in 2011, Sooke RCMP seized $4,980 from Widner, and those funds were forfeited to Her Majesty the Queen in a civil suit against Widner in 2012. Of that amount, $3,735 went towards Richard Neary who represented the defendant.

The RCMP are not speculating on possible connections with the Hells Angels.

“The Hells Angels are not the only criminal gang that works here in Sooke,” said McArthur. However, he added that Sooke is pretty typical compared to other parts of Canada. In other words, things are as normal in Sooke as they are anywhere else.

According to their investigative findings, the RCMP have no reason to believe that the residents in Sooke are at risk. According to McArthur, the murder of Widner was not a random act.

The Sooke RCMP are not releasing how Widner died although they are calling it a homicide, and they are not indicating if they have any leads on who might have committed the murder. They will only say that “the investigation is progressing.”

The Sooke RCMP were notified that Widner was missing on March 8 by his family, and at around 8:00 that evening his car was found near Lake Poirier. On March 10th, Widner’s body was found by a hiker, just a few kilometers outside of Port Renfrew towards Lake Cowichan near the Pacific Marine Circle Drive.

It is believed Widner arranged a meeting with someone at William Simmons Memorial Park, near Poirier Lake, sometime after 8 pm on Wednesday last week. That’s where his car was found abandoned.

A forensic autopsy was completed on March 15, and it was confirmed that the body was Michael Widner’s.

This incident is not presumed to be associated with the burned body found in a vehicle in Port Renfrew recently, or the body recently found on the Malahat.

If anybody has any information, including any observations of unusual activity at or near Poirier Lake on March 8, they are asked to contact the Sooke RCMP at 250-642-5241.

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