*Update: RCMP reported Wednesday morning that Kilgren was apprehended in Saskatchewan.
“Information was obtained that the subject was in Manitoba and headed to Saskatchewan,” according to an RCMP press release. “He was located in Saskatchewan and apprehended, with the assistance of members in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. During the apprehension, further offences were noted which may result in charges.”
A Rosedale man who was the subject of a mental health arrest warrant on Thursday (Feb. 2) has a history of firearms offences and was charged with two counts of second-degree murder near Terrace, B.C., 25 years ago.
This week, Midway RCMP issued a press release asking the public to help find 74-year-old Wilfred James Kilgren who is wanted on a Form 21 Director’s Warrant issued by a doctor on Jan. 20, 2023.
The purpose of this type of warrant is to allow police to legally arrest someone who was involuntarily admitted to hospital and who has absconded.
The warrant for Kilgren was issued after he failed to return to Chilliwack General Hospital.
Kilgren has a history of mental illness according to documents found online, and according to a former neighbour who asked not to be named.
Thirty-three years ago on March 15, 1990 in Terrace, Kilgren was charged with using a forged cheque with intent to purchase a rifle, but a provincial court judge found “on account of insanity, (he) was found unfit to stand his trial and was ordered to be kept in custody in the Forensic Psychiatric Institute,” according to an order in council on April 11, 1990.
|Story by reporter Robert Freeman in the Sept. 9, 1997 Chilliwack Progress. (Progress archives)|
Seven years after that on Aug. 14, 1997, Kilgren was accused of killing 34-year-old Daniel Fagan on the Copper River Forestry Road near Terrace.
Kilgren had reportedly left Rosedale in a friend’s vehicle to visit relatives in Terrace, but he never arrived, according to a Terrace RCMP officer as reported in the Sept. 9, 1997 edition of The Progress.
He was later located and arrested in Saskatchewan near the Montana border driving a pickup truck stolen near New Hazelton. Several rifles and stolen licence plates were found inside the vehicle.
According to another newspaper clipping from the time, Kilgren was actually charged with two murders. There is no online court record of the outcome of either murder charge, but given the insanity declaration from 1990, and the current mental health warrant, it’s likely he was found not criminally responsible to stand trial and would have been again confined to hospital.
“Kilgren was considered dangerous because he is a known paranoid schizophrenic who was off his medication,” according to a story in the Terrace Standard in 1997.
Fast forward to five years ago, and Kilgren was the subject of a May 2018 missing person’s report by the Chilliwack RCMP, which then prompted a large police presence in Christina Lake on June 13 where he was believed to be a danger to officers.
That day, 20 or more RCMP officers, including members of the Lower Mainland emergency response team conducted a “sensitive” operation in the Christina Lake area.
Grand Forks Gazette reporter Kathleen Saylors was on scene for parts of the afternoon and evening. She witnessed a road block on West Lake Drive that included four vehicles and at least four officers, all heavily armed. Later in the afternoon she witnessed a police dog and handler on the site at West Lake Drive, as well as a helicopter flying overhead.
He was then located near Creston on June 21, and RCMP spokesperson declined to answer any questions about the operation citing privacy concerns.
“Let’s put it this way: people react in different ways to police,” Olmstead said, in response to a question about the heavy police presence for a missing person case. “We believed we should provide heightened security for RCMP.”
Kilgren was then in Chilliwack provincial court on July 10, 2018 where he was ordered prohibited from possession of firearms under section 111 of the criminal code.
A source told The Progress this week that two weeks ago, around the time the current warrant was issued, there was a large police presence including RCMP emergency response team members at the home where he lived in Rosedale (technically Popkum).
RCMP reported this week that Kilgren might again be travelling to Saskatchewan. He may be in a grey 2001 Toyota RAV4, B.C. licence plate SW807B.
Wilfred James Kilgren is described as:
• Caucasian male
• 5’ 10” (178 centimetres)
• 181 lbs (82 kilograms)
• Grey brown hair
• Hazel eyes
If seen, police advise to not approach him but instead call 911 immediately.
Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Wilfred Kilgren is asked to call their local police.
– with files from Robert Freeman and Kathleen Saylors
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chilliwackChilliwack General HospitalHomicidemental healthmissing person