In 2019, a woman to whom Mr. Skibicki was married requested a protection order against him. In court records, she alleged a pattern of abuse in their relationship, including him monitoring her phone usage, not allowing her to leave her apartment, and forcing her to take medications at night and to engage in “non-consensual sex.”
Mr. Skibicki appeared before a Winnipeg court on Friday, wearing a gray T-shirt with a ripped hem and matching gray pants. His head was shaved and he wore a long, unkempt goatee.
Mr. Skibicki’s lawyer, Leonard Tailleur, said in an email that his client would “plead not guilty to all charges and look forward to the trial sometime in the future.”
The police believe Ms. Contois, 24, was the last woman to be killed. Her remains were found on May 16 in a dumpster behind an apartment building in Winnipeg. Mr. Skibicki was arrested two days later.
Another woman, Morgan Beatrice Harris, 39, was killed around May 1, and a third, Marcedes Myran, 26, was killed around May 4, the authorities said. Both victims were from Long Plain First Nation, a reserve about 55 miles west of Winnipeg, and both had previously been reported to police as missing.
A fourth, unidentified victim was believed to have been in her mid-20s and was the first woman who went missing. The police released an image of a black jacket similar to the one she was wearing at the time she vanished, in an effort to get tips from the public about who she might be.
“As a city, we must all grieve their loss and recognize that we have much more work to do, more work to do to protect the lives of Indigenous women and girls,” Scott Gillingham, the mayor of Winnipeg, told reporters on Thursday.