Nanaimo Hells Angels prospect found dead in Sooke, days after going missing

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The man reported missing in Sooke last week is a prospect for the Nanaimo chapter of the Hells Angels biker gang, sources told Postmedia News on Monday.

Michael Gregory Widner, 39, was last seen March 8 in Sooke and was reported missing the following day.

His wife posted a message on Facebook over the weekend saying police had since told her that Widner’s body had been found.

“It is with a broken heart and overwhelming sadness I share that the police have informed me that my husbands body has been found,” she wrote in a comment that has since been made private. “I am with our children holding them tight and keeping them safe and removed from all the attention. His children know that he is in heaven with his brother Steve and at peace.”  

Neither Sooke RCMP nor E Division headquarters responded to requests for information Monday about the status of the case and whether it was now a murder investigation.

Hells Angels spokesman Rick Ciarniello told Postmedia News that Widner was a prospect and that his body had been found Sunday.

Earlier, Sooke Staff Sergeant Jeff McArthur said in a news release that Widner’s vehicle, a 2003 black Volkswagen Golf, was found abandoned at Poirier Lake, in William Edmonds Park in Sooke.  

Widner has no criminal record in B.C., according to the online court database.

But he was the subject of a suit by the B.C. Civil Forfeiture director in 2012 after being stopped by Sooke RCMP a year earlier with $4,980 cash, 25 grams of marijuana, a hunting knife and four cellphones in his vehicle.

“Mr. Widner either directly participated in the selling of illegal drugs or obtained the money directly or indirectly from the sellers of illegal drugs,” the suit alleged.

Widner later agreed to forfeit the money, though most was sent to his lawyer to cover his bill.

Widner’s isn’t the only recent missing person case linked to the Hells Angels.

Surrey RCMP is trying to locate Rickey Sandor Mandi, a former prospect for the Vancouver chapter of the Hells Angels. 

Mandi was last seen on January 27th, near 96th Avenue and King George Boulevard in Surrey, Sgt. Alana Dunlop said Monday.

Originally a relative reported Mandi missing to Chilliwack RCMP and said he hadn’t been seen since New Year’s Eve.

But given that Mandi is known to frequent Surrey and Langley, Surrey Mounties made inquiries and learned of the sighting in late January, Dunlop said.

In 2004, Mandi was sentenced to more than six years in jail for a violent assault and kidnapping.

He later told the parole board he wanted to change his life and went on to work with people struggling with addiction.

However he left the job a few years ago and appeared to be dealing with his own addiction troubles.

Last September he posted on his Facebook page that he was coming off “a four-year brutal relapse.”

He said he had got clean again “like a Phoenix raising out from the ashes of a long period of my life filled with painful memories, of heartaches and disappointments.”

Ciarniello, who was in the same Hells Angels chapter as Mandi, said he wasn’t aware the former prospect was missing.

“I haven’t seen Mandi in 10 years or so,” Ciarniello said.

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