Manitoba RCMP make arrest in homicide of Crystal Saunders - Media Release
January 29, 2024, Winnipeg, Manitoba – It has been almost 17 years since Crystal Saunders, a Métis woman, went missing from Winnipeg and was found deceased near St. Ambroise, Manitoba a day later. She was only 24 years old.
Police have worked tirelessly to find answers for Crystal’s family, and on January 27, 2024, investigators arrested Kevin Charles Queau, 42, of Vancouver, British Columbia, and charged him with 2nd Degree Murder for Crystal’s death.
This was a long-term, complex investigation that spanned western Canada.
On April 18, 2007, Crystal was last seen by an on-duty Winnipeg Police Service officer in the late evening hours getting into a vehicle at the northeast corner of Sargent Avenue and Sherbrook Street in Winnipeg. She was found the next morning, around 9:00 am, by an off-duty RCMP officer who was checking his trapline in the area. This officer understood the importance of containing the scene and preserving evidence and was able to do so until investigators arrived on scene.
DNA was located on Crystal’s remains, and due to advancements in technology around 2014, the DNA got a hit on the National DNA Databank and linked to Queau. The investigative team had a lead, and through exhaustive efforts over the ensuing years were able to gain the evidence needed to arrest and charge Queau.
“I can speak first-hand to the dedication and the perseverance of those involved in this investigation, and I am extremely proud of our investigators and our team in resolving this case,” said Superintendent Rob Lasson, Officer in Charge of Manitoba RCMP Major Crime Services. “This is not about us, though. This is about Crystal. She was well-liked and had many friends, but she also struggled. Crystal was a vulnerable person, and someone took advantage of that. We now have that person in custody.”
Queau is originally from Winnipeg, where he attended both secondary and post-secondary school. He also frequented various other areas across Western Canada, including Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and BC.
The RCMP is asking anyone who has additional information on this matter or any other matters related to Kevin Queau, to call the RCMP tip line at 1-888-673-3316.
“We will be in further contact with other RCMP divisions and police agencies across Canada in order to determine if there are any additional linkages or connections to other unsolved crimes,” said Superintendent Lasson. “Our heartfelt condolences to Crystal’s loved ones, and we hope this arrest can bring you some solace in your tragic loss of Crystal.”
There are many valuable supports that can be accessed if someone is in need.
Klinic Community Health offers support through their 24/7 Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 204-786-8631 or toll free at 1-888-292-7565.
Ka Ni Kanichihk’s Medicine Bear Counselling, Support & Elder Services Program is another resource for survivors. They can be reached at 204-953-8520.