Manitoba RCMP renew call for details around 2018 disappearance of Vernon Karl Otto

Police are renewing a call for information on the whereabouts of a Manitoba man who went missing more than four years ago.

On Tuesday, RCMP asked for details about what happened to Vernon Karl Otto, who was 66 when he was last scene on May 29, 2018.

Police say Otto met with his family that morning. He told them he was off to run errands and do yard work at his home in the Stead, Man., area and also said he planned to go look at a crawler tractor, RCMP say.

The last confirmed contact anyone had with him was around 1 p.m. that afternoon when he was believed to be working in a field near Stead, RCMP said.

Nearly four hours later, his white extended-cab truck with grey decals on the side was reportedly seen travelling southbound on Highway 12, before turning west onto Road 94 North.

Vernon Karl Otto’s white pickup truck, pictured here, was found burned on a road near Stead, Man., on May 30, 2018. (Submitted by RCMP)

Just over 24 hours later, on May 30, 2018, his truck was located a short distance from his home, on Road 94 North, west of Highway 12. It was found burned and investigators determined the cause was arson.

RCMP major crime services plan to be in the Stead area in the coming weeks to hang posters and hand out pamphlets regarding Otto’s disappearance. 

RCMP media relations officer Tara Seel said investigators firmly believe someone in the area may have seen Otto’s truck the day he vanished.

“There may be some reluctance by these witnesses to come forward, but we need those with information to contact investigators,” she said in a statement. “Even a seemingly small detail could help investigators move this case forward.”

RCMP are interested in connecting with anyone who did business with Otto regarding the purchase of a crawler tractor, or other large construction or farming equipment, in May of 2018.

Investigators are asking anyone with new information, or who has previously provided information, to contact RCMP at 1-888-673-3316, or submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477.

From right to left, yellow markings on a map show the approximate location of Vernon Karl Otto’s home, where his truck was sighted in the afternoon of May 29 and where the vehicle was ultimately found burned on the evening of May 30, 2018. (Submitted by RCMP)

More from CBC Manitoba: