'I miss her so much': Friend renews plea for information to help solve mystery of Thelma Krull's disappearance
It's been 3 years since Winnipeg woman disappeared after leaving East Kildonan home for a walk
A good friend of Thelma Krull says after three years, it's time for the people who know something to come forward.
"It's been three years. It's time to get involved," said Susan Dell.
Krull, who was 57, was last seen leaving her East Kildonan home on July 11, 2015, and never returned. There were some reports that she'd been seen walking that day, but there have been no known sightings of her since then.
"I miss her. I miss her so much," said Dell.
"I wish I could just erase the last three years and just go back. Nobody deserves to go through this — the family, the friends, the co-workers."
The two worked together at Special People in Kildonan East, or SPIKE, which provides day programming for adults with disabilities.
Krull was in the finance department and had a knack for cheering people up and making sure everyone there felt included, said Dell. It's especially hard to be at work now, she said Wednesday, three years to the day since Krull vanished.
"I actually can't believe it. It feels like yesterday," she said.
"I didn't think we'd get to the two-week mark, and I didn't think we'd get to the month mark. And I couldn't believe it when we got to the one-year mark and now it's three years."
Dell remembers getting the call from a friend on a Saturday afternoon in July 2015 — the day Krull never met up with her husband, Bob, as planned.
Dell immediately drove back from the lake to join the throngs of others setting out in search parties.
She and Connie Muscat, another friend, created flyers, co-ordinated search areas and spent weeks combing around Chief Peguis Trail, the Bunn's Creek area, back roads and barns, believing at first Krull may have taken shelter after an injury.
Foul play wasn't something they wanted to consider but as Krull's glasses and phone were recovered and the Winnipeg police homicide unit took over the investigation, their hopes fell.
Dell worries now about whether her friend's caring nature could have put her at risk.
"If she saw anyone in pain or hurting or needing help, she would be the first to run over," she said.
Winnipeg police said in 2016 they believed Krull was abducted.
"Everybody who knew Thelma would never, ever do that. Everybody loved her. I just couldn't see anybody close to her or even that she knew doing anything."
'She left a really big hole'
The searches went on for months and involved hundreds of people across Winnipeg. Krull's daughter Lisa Besser, Dell, Muscat and strangers led them tirelessly, knowing Krull would do the same for them.
"Once you became friends with her she was always your friend," said Dell.
Dell said it's still difficult to be at work and face the void — Krull's writing is still on notes.
She always found the good deals on paper, pens and supplies for the office, Dell said, and would pop her head in to give her a line that would brighten up her day when she was down.
"We were quite the team and she left a really big hole when she left, when she disappeared."
Dell said the anniversary of Krull's disappearance is difficult for her, but she feels most for her friend's family.
Robert Krull, Thelma's husband, had originally set out with Krull on the hikes she loved to take, but he had to stop due to health reasons.
Krull even tried taking the dog on her walks too, but always ended up carrying it back home.
"She was the only one with the stamina that could keep going!" laughed Dell.
She said Krull was especially proud of her grandson and spoke of her family often. She and Robert were looking forward to retirement.
"They had a good relationship. They were very family oriented, they had their goals … they had a life plan. This wasn't somebody who didn't have a plan for tomorrow. She knew what she was doing every day of the week. She was a very busy lady," said Dell.
"I would love to be able to go to Bob and say, 'We found her,' or say, 'We found something.' That would be my greatest wish. To be able to give the family some information."
Dell is still involved with the groups online that never gave up on Krull and the push for answers. There, hundreds upon hundreds express their prayers, thoughts and love for a woman they'd never met.
"We know somebody knows something out there and we need people to come forward. You can make an anonymous phone call. We don't even care where it comes from. We need closure, and we need information."
Members of the homicide unit can be contacted directly at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).