Human remains that were located in a burned down house near Maskwacis in March, 2021, have now been identified as Tyler Johnson, a 26-year-old male from Grande Prairie, Alta. A Red Deer woman has been arrested and charged with his alleged murder.
The Alberta RCMP Major Crimes Unit (MCU) released the information on Oct. 20, 2021.
As the result of further investigation and following an autopsy conducted in March, the RCMP connected the remains found to Johnson, who has been missing for nearly two months at the time of his death.
The Edmonton Police Service had issued a release asking for the public’s assistance in locating Johnson on Feb. 4, 2021.
Johnson had last heard from on Jan. 12, 2021, and last known locations were south Edmonton, Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis. Investigators were also searching for his vehicle, a 2004 Audi A4.
At the time, his disappearance was considered out of character, but it was unknown if foul play was involved.
On March 8, 2021, the RCMP MCU located human remains in a home that had recently burned to the ground, near Ermineskin Cree Nation.
The MCU investigators were assisted by the Maskwacis RCMP, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, an anthropologist, and an RCMP Police Dog Services member from St. Paul, who used a human remains detection dog.
Firestorm Consulting Group was contracted and is assisting the RCMP with the origin and cause of the house fire.
The MCU’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding Johnson’s death led to obtaining an arrest warrant for Brianna Ruf-Dietz, 32, of Red Deer.
Following a judicial hearing, Ruf-Dietz was remanded into custody and her next scheduled court appearance is in Wetaskiwin Provincial Court on Oct. 26, 2021.
As this matter is now before the courts, no further information will be released by the RCMP.