After he allegedly kidnapped, confined, beat and sexually assaulted a 20-year-old Marsh Lake woman at knifepoint for two days, police have arrested Mitchell Leblanc.
The crew of an RCMP Twin Otter surveillance plane spotted a white Chevrolet pickup containing Leblanc and his alleged victim at around 4 p.m. Thursday.
The vehicle was parked at a rest stop on the Alaska Highway just south of Whitehorse, said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Roger Lockwood.
Four police cruisers were dispatched to the scene, and police closed a section of the highway for almost an hour while negotiating with the man.
“On attending the scene, police officers determined that Leblanc was threatening the missing woman’s safety and he was holding her against her will with the weapon,” he said.
“Officers took the necessary precautions and measures and successfully diffused the situation,” said Lockwood.
Leblanc, a 37-year-old Whitehorse resident, faces five charges — sexual assault, assault with a weapon, kidnapping, forcible confinement and possession of a dangerous weapon.
Both Leblanc and the woman were taken to Whitehorse General Hospital.
Lockwood was unable to confirm the extent or cause of the captor’s injuries, but noted they were sustained prior to his arrest.
He could reveal nothing about the woman’s injuries.
Leblanc was released from hospital into police custody on Thursday, said Lockwood.
The man is set to appear again in court on Wednesday.
On November 1, Whitehorse RCMP received a complaint from the alleged victim’s family notifying them she was feared missing, said Lockwood.
“The initial investigation was that the two were known to one another and that they may be together.
“From that point, the investigation … we were looking for him in the event that he could provide us with additional details of where she may be,” he said.
Until Leblanc was found and arrested, the case was officially being treated as a missing persons case, added Lockwood.
United States Drug Enforcement Administration marshals in Alaska have an outstanding arrest warrant out for a Mitchell Leblanc.
He is wanted for conspiracy to import marijuana.
Available through an internet search, the warrant provides a photo and brief physical description of a man matching the physical portrayal Whitehorse RCMP provided of Leblanc last week.
The DEA warrant describes Leblanc as a Canadian citizen and advises, “Do not attempt to apprehend this individual.”
It also reports Leblanc’s birth date as January 1, 1969.
Court documents pin the birth date of the Leblanc now in RCMP custody as January 2, 1969.
Whitehorse RCMP cannot comment whether they have seen the warrant or have been in touch with US authorities to investigate the link, said Lockwood.
“I can’t, at this time, confirm that,” said Lockwood. “The police will be looking into this.
“The RCMP cannot confirm any warrant.
“What’s important is that he’s been charged here in the Yukon for committing a criminal offence and that matter is before the court and that investigation is ongoing.”
The US warrant for Leblanc is still active, confirmed Jeff Eig, public information officer with the DEA in Seattle, Washington.