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Sooke man’s death treated as homicide, mother says

RCMP are treating the death of a Sooke man as a homicide, after remains found near Port Renfrew were confirmed as his, the man’s mother says.
Michael Gregory Widner.jpg
Mike Widner, 39, was found dead after being reported missing last week. His mother says RCMP are treating his death as a homicide.

RCMP are treating the death of a Sooke man as a homicide, after remains found near Port Renfrew were confirmed as his, the man’s mother says.

Reta Acorn said police did not share any circumstances about the death of her son, Mike Widner, or say if they had any suspects.

She reported Widner, 39, missing last week after he didn’t drop by her house as expected.

“He just wasn’t in places he was supposed to be. Mother’s instinct, I just acted on my gut reaction,” said Acorn, who lives in Sooke.

She said she wasn’t surprised to learn his death is being investigated as a homicide, after hearing his car was found abandoned at Poirier Lake in Otter Point’s William Simmons Park.

“My son wasn’t a hiker or anything like that, so I concluded it was a homicide, because he was not a suicidal person and the only reason his car would be parked there was because somebody did something to him,” Acorn said.

Rick Ciarniello, a spokesman for the Hells Angels, told the Times Colonist that Widner was a prospect for the Nanaimo chapter of the biker gang.

Widner was also the subject of a civil forfeiture case in 2012, a year after his vehicle was stopped by Sooke RCMP and he was found in possession of 25 grams of marijuana, $4,980 cash, a hunting knife and four cellphones.

Acorn said she knew nothing about any connection to the Hells Angels and was unaware of any threats on Widner’s life.

She said Widner, a father of two, died 10 years after his younger brother, Stephen died in a car crash on Feb. 1, 2007.

She asked anyone with information about his death to report it. “Please come forward. I’d just like to see the person who did this pay for it, I don’t want this to go unsolved,” Acorn said. “Mike was a good man and a good father and a good husband and a good son. He was only 39 years old and there’s no reason why someone should take his life.”

Sooke RCMP ask anyone with information to call them at 250-642-5241 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

— With files from Katie DeRosa

asmart@timescolonist.com