A body found in southern Manitoba on Monday is that of a woman who had been reported missing in the area, RCMP confirmed Tuesday.
Maria Pluschnik, 25, was found dead in a secluded ravine within a few kilometres of where her vehicle had been found abandoned a day earlier.
RCMP reported the find near Schanzenfeld, Man., on Monday, but didn’t confirm its identity until Tuesday morning.
The community in the rural municipality of Stanley is about 100 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg, near Winkler.
Police had asked for the public’s help to find Pluschnik on Monday.
She had last been seen on the evening of Feb. 7, leaving the area in a green Dodge Caliber. The vehicle was found abandoned south of Schanzenfeld on Feb. 10 at the intersection of Road 22 W. and Road 8 N. and appeared to have been there for some time, police said.
“It looked like she had gotten stuck in a snowdrift,” RCMP spokesperson Julie Courchaine said Monday. “She had left her cellphone at home.”
RCMP said Monday they believe Pluschnik may have been headed to a business in Winkler, but officers don’t believe she made it there.
Much of southwestern Manitoba was under an extreme cold warning on Feb. 7. Temperatures dropped to a low of –25 C in Winkler.
Courchaine said Pluschnik’s vehicle was found just over three kilometres from her residence and just over two kilometres from other residences.
Pluschnik’s family told CBC News that she had just moved back to Schanzenfeld last week after living in Winnipeg for three years. She worked in restaurants in Winnipeg and was taking culinary classes.
Her family immigrated to Canada from Germany when she was about 10 years old, her brother Michael said. The night she went missing she told family she was going to McDonald’s.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 204-822-5469.
RCMP continue to investigate.