The skull found by a hunter in the RM of Tache in late October belongs to missing Winnipeg grandmother Thelma Krull.
Steinbach RCMP were called in to the secluded and forested area around Chemin Perrin Road just off of Municipal Road 52N on Oct. 27 after the discovery was made by a hunter that evening.
Police investigators flagged a pathway to where the skull was found, nearly 300 feet in from the roadway, and about 40 km southeast of Winnipeg.
In early November, residents who live in the area told Global News forensics investigators had returned to the site multiple times.
The hunters who found the skull spoke exclusively to Global News Thursday.
They said they were out on the land, hunting. When Marcel Trudeau’s son shot at a deer and went to see if he hit it, he made the discovery.
WATCH: video footage of the rural area in which the remains were found
“He was 60 feet away from me … and he stumbled over this skull and he screamed out my name,” said Trudeau.
The pair left the skull where it was and went to police, who called Steinbach RCMP.
Trudeau took RCMP to the site that evening, saying “nobody would actually walk there. Even if you were walking down trails, you wouldn’t walk there because it’s just too thick.
“We weren’t sure how old it was cause it was … nothing on it. It was all white already. It seemed like an old skull.”
Trudeau said no other remains were at the site that he could see.
WATCH: Manitoba hunter describes discovery of human remains
Early into the investigation, detectives believed it could be the remains of Krull, but it took weeks to make a positive identification, sources told Global News. The remains were matched by DNA tests.
“To this day I was wondering if any other information came about it,” said Trudeau. “Now we find out who it is.”
WATCH: Winnipeg police Sgt. Wes Rommel shares details of the homicide investigation
The latest development comes after years of searches, public pleas and fading hope to find Krull alive.
Krull, who was 57, was last seen leaving her Valley Gardens home for her regular morning walk on July 11, 2015, and never returned.
Sgt. Wes Rommel said Thursday she was forcibly removed from Civic Park, commonly known as Kimberly Hill.
Rommel said Krull was “taken into a residence, building or vehicle” in Valley Gardens near the park.
A pair of Krull’s glasses were found on the grounds of Valley Gardens Community Centre four days after she went missing. But for weeks and months after it seemed like the trail had gone cold.
WATCH: Police speak about Thelma Krull’s disappearance two years later
On the two-year anniversary of the day she was last seen, Winnipeg police came out to say they had “made critical, significant progress.”
It was the first time police admitted publicly they believed Krull had been the victim of random “foul play.”
Police spoke about a possible sighting at Kimberly Avenue and Gateway Road on the day she disappeared. As first released in 2016, she was reported as being in the company of a “heavy set male, indigenous in appearance, 5’8″ in height, 270 pounds with a bowl style haircut.”
They released a sketch of the man.
Police said homicide investigators believed that person was a suspect and the information then formed a “significant part of the investigation.”
Thursday, Rommel said they want to keep an open mind about who the suspect may be.
Thelma Krull presumed dead by Manitoba court
In September 2017, Krull’s family had her declared dead by a judge.
The presumption of death allows the family to move forward in handling her estate.
Without this ruling, they would have had to wait seven years due to provincial law.
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