WATCH: Sooke RCMP ask for the public’s help after confirming Hells Angels prospect Mike Widner was the victim of a homicide. Tess van Straaten reports.
Sooke RCMP are making a plea for witnesses to come forward, after confirming that 39-year-old Michael Gregory Widner was the victim of a homicide.
"This was not a random act and there's no cause for concern to any of the public," says Sooke RCMP S/Sgt. Jeff McArthur.
Widner's body was found by a hiker along the Pacific Marine Route a few kilometers from Port Renfrew on Friday.
RCMP says the Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect was well-known to them.
The father of two had been the subject of numerous investigations and was on their radar again at the time of his death.
"We were well aware of Mr. Widner's involvement with organized crime, well aware that he was a prospect for the Nanaimo Hells Angels and as a result he had our full attention here," S/Sgt. McArthur explains.
The victim's vehicle was found in the parking lot of William Simmons Park by Poirier Lake off Otter Point Road.
Police believe he had a meeting there Wednesday, March 8th around 8 pm and they're now investigating whether that's linked to his death.
RCMP and the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) spent several hours questioning motorists by the park, looking for people who might go by there on Wednesdays and might have seen something.
"As a result we generated some information but need more," says S/Sgt. McArthur. "Anyone who may have seen something or heard something or vehicles in that area."
The investigation into Widner, and his organized crime links, comes as police in B.C. step up their efforts to shutdown gang activity — part of a $30 million gangs and guns strategy launched last year.
"Dozens of shootings have been prevented, dozens of homicides have been prevented," says public safety minister Mike Morris. "There will be people charged as a result of the activity. We are making progress."
Millions of dollars in drugs from organized crime were taken off the streets last year alone.
But officials say a lot more work still needs to be done.
"The numbers are coming down and I'm going to continue to ensure that those number do keep coming down," Morris told CHEK News.
Anyone with information about the Widner case is asked to call the VIIMCU at 250-380-6211 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.