Search in Calgary murder case to continue after searchers vow to keep going

Organizers say they’ll continue their civilian search for signs of a missing five-year-old Calgary boy and his grandparents after earlier calling it off because of a social media backlash.

AIRDRIE — Organizers say they’ll continue their civilian search for signs of a missing five-year-old Calgary boy and his grandparents after earlier calling it off because of a social media backlash.

Matt Forseth says organizers decided to cancel the search when some questioned whether they might actually be hindering the police investigation.

But he says they changed their minds Wednesday after more than 100 people showed up to help and investigators OK’d their efforts.

The volunteers have been scouring rural areas near the community of Airdrie for any sign of Alvin and Kathy Liknes (LIHK’-ness) and their grandson, Nathan O’Brien, who disappeared in late June.

Douglas Garland, who lived on an acreage near Airdrie, has been charged with three counts of murder, even though the bodies have not been found.

Forseth says the angry backlash came when a news report was posted on the group’s Facebook page that said police were upset with the volunteer search.

“People were calling us media hounds, selfish, that we were looking to post selfies on Facebook,” Forseth said. “It became so overwhelming.”

But Forseth says police have always been supportive of what they’ve been doing and he says Calgary police and RCMP both reiterated that support on Wednesday.

“Then we had 112 people sitting there, not including ourselves, saying we’re not going anywhere. We’re supporting you guys. We came out to do something good for the family.”

The group’s Facebook page has been taken down, but Forseth says the volunteers will continue to search ditches and other areas for clues.

Police have been asking rural residents to check their property for anything unusual.

Kevin Brookwell, a Calgary police spokesman, has told local media that investigators appreciate the public’s help, but searchers have to follow certain protocols.

Forseth said the volunteers are not searching areas where police are focused. They’re also staying off private property unless they’re specifically invited by landowners .

“Our intentions aren’t to solve this case. I hope nobody finds anything of a graphic nature. But we might find a simple piece of paper, the tiniest piece of evidence that might open up a new area for the Calgary police services to start looking,” Forseth explained.

“Ultimately, we want to adhere to their wishes. And if they ask us to stop everything, then it’s done. We’ll set up a barbecue and invite all the volunteers down and say thank you to everybody who did help.”

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake council approves concept plan for new park

Pogadl Park will eventally be home to numerous ball diamonds and sports fields

One person dead after collision on Highway 2A

Pickup truck and grain truck collided on Highway 2A south of Carstairs

Updated: Trial stalls for man accused in fatal Canada Day 2016 crash

Defence lawyer argued relevant information received only hours before trial to begin

Sylvan Lake council passes 2019 budget

Tax rate increase of 2.74 per cent set for this year

Relief for drivers in construction zones

Motorists in favour of change

WATCH:2019 Canada Winter Games torchbearers announced

Sixteen torchbearers announced with others to be revealed during Opening Ceremonies

Shooter pleads guilty to manslaughter in Stettler

A Stettler man charged with second-degree murder has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.… Continue reading

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

Police chief confirms all three Ottawa bus victims were on board when it crashed

OTTAWA — All three people killed in last week’s deadly bus accident… Continue reading

UPDATE: Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Speedy acceptance of Saudi shows refugee system’s flaws

Who would not wish Rahaf Mohammed well? The 18-year-old Saudi wants to… Continue reading

Most Read