Family seeks help finding missing Sagkeeng man

Clifford Guimond last seen cashing cheque in nearby pawn shop on Dec. 18, 2020

Clifford Guimond of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba.

The body of Clifford Guimond has been recovered from the shore of the Winnipeg River on his First Nation, Manitoba RCMP say.

His remains were found Feb. 3; he was reported missing on Dec. 26.

His sister was worried police weren’t searching for him because he has a criminal record.

Clifford Guimond, 56, is a convicted sex offender from Sagkeeng First Nation, located about 120 km north of Winnipeg.

“He was last seen in (nearby) Powerview-Pine Falls at the pawn shop there,” said his sister Diane Guimond. “He was going there to cash a cheque.”

Clifford was living with Diane and her nephew in the Anishinabek community, also known as Fort Alexander First Nation, alongside the Winnipeg River.

On Dec. 18, she said he went into town on foot and was expected to return in a few days after visiting friends.

But he hasn’t been seen since.

Boxing Day

“By Boxing Day I was worried (when) he wasn’t back yet,” Diane said, noting that’s when she reported her younger brother missing to the RCMP.

“They haven’t given me no leads, like no information, nothing.”

The RCMP were unaware Clifford had a criminal record and a spokesperson said it’s not a factor in the case.

“We just need some sort of starting point for a search,” said Cpl. Julie Courchaine.

“I was just talking to the detachment and they wish they had more answers.”

Courchaine said the Mounties need evidence of where to look for Clifford.

Would look

“If they had an exact area where they could start a search, of course they would look at doing that,” she said, adding she posted a media release about his disappearance on Dec. 31.

“Number 1, we want to find Clifford. Missing people is something that we take very seriously. It is a priority.”

Diane said Clifford deserves to be found, despite his past.

“He did his time,” she said in an interview. “He’s still a person.”

Gina Settee, an advocate for missing and murdered Indigenous men and boys (MMIMB) in Winnipeg, said Diane was right to question police.

“I absolutely feel they fall between the cracks of the whole society,” she said.

“From all the families that I represent within my (annual awareness) walk – that’s all I hear.”

Gone missing

Settee, who lost a son to murder in 2017, said it is unclear exactly how many Indigenous men and boys have been murdered or gone missing in Canada.

“In 2017, Statistics Canada said it was 1,750.”

Settee encouraged Diane to “make noise” about Clifford’s disappearance.

“I hope she finds her brother,” she added.

“No matter what that person did, he still deserves to be found and to be buried or whatever she needs to do to be able to have closure.”

Diane said she held a traditional ceremony to seek clues into Clifford’s disappearance. And the news wasn’t good.

“They told us he was gone. In a ditch somewhere. Covered in snow.”

Searching

She said a small of Sagkeeng firefighters have been searching for him – and checking ditches – along with a few community volunteers.

“We’re assuming maybe it was a hit-and-run,” she added.

“I’m starting to get depressed. I don’t know what to do, who to turn to.”

Guimond is described as 6 feet, 180 lbs, with grey hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Powerview-Pine Falls RCMP at 204-367-8728 or Manitoba CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Investigative Reporter / Winnipeg

Award-winning reporter Kathleen Martens covers western and northern Canada for aptnnews.ca. A veteran of the Brandon Sun, Sun Media and APTN Investigates, she is based in APTN’s head office, specializing in stories about property, women’s rights and community.