A man was arrested Sunday on suspicion of killing five people, including three children who were pulled dead from a burning car in Manitoba, Canada, police said.
The 29-year-old, who has not been named, is accused of the string of murders in three connected incidents the same day across rural communities Sunday morning. None of the victims have been publicly identified.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they were first called to a reported hit-and-run near Carman, southwest of Winnipeg in the province of Manitoba, at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Officers found a woman in a ditch nearby who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Then, at 10 a.m. police were called to a car fire about 40 miles north, in the rural municipality of Cartier. A witness pulled the bodies of three children from the burning car while officers were en route.
“As officers were going to the scene, a witness was able to pull three young children from a burning vehicle,” Inspector Tim Arseneault of RCMP major crime services said at a news conference Sunday. “Tragically, all three children were declared deceased on scene.”
The suspect was arrested at the scene of the burning car.
Officers then found the body of a fifth victim, another woman, at a property in the small rural town of Carman.
“It is believed that the adult male in custody and all five deceased individuals are known to each other,” Arseneault said.
The crime continues to be investigated by RCMP from at least three departments, including forensic identification specialists and a collision reconstruction unit.
“As a parent, I simply can’t imagine the enormity of your loss,” Arseneault said, in comments reported by CBC. “The community of Carman and surrounding areas will also be grieving as they have lost some of their youngest residents in such a tragic way.”
Wab Kinew, the premier of Manitoba, paid tribute to the victims and sent sympathies to their families.
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