Calgary family remains missing after two weeks

Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents vanished on June 29

CALGARY – It’s now been two weeks since the mysterious disappearance of a five-year-old Calgary boy and his grandparents.

Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Kathryn and Alvin Liknes, haven’t been seen since June 29 after what police say was a violent incident in the Liknes home.

The couple had been having an estate sale and were downsizing ahead of a move to a home in Edmonton and then on to Mexico.

Nathan was at his grandparents’ for a sleepover and when his mother arrived to pick him up the next morning everyone was gone.

Police spent the weekend searching a Calgary landfill, acreages near the community of Airdrie and one made final sweep through the Liknes home in Calgary.

Investigators released the Calgary home on Sunday, but the residence of the only person of interest in the case, a tree-lined acreage northeast of Airdrie, will remain in police hands “indefinitely” according to a spokesman.

Over the past two weeks RCMP and Calgary Police investigators have torn the acreage apart and searched several fields, sloughs and stands of trees in an area nearby.

They’ve also gone door-to-door to neighbouring homes asking landowners to check their properties for anything that is suspicious.

Family members of the missing have tried to remain hopeful.

“We’re very hopeful that they’re out there. There’s no doubt in our minds,” said Nathan’s mother, Jennifer O’Brien, at a candlelight vigil last Thursday.

“We’ve just got to find them and the police are doing everything they can do. I truly believe that they’ll figure it out.”

Police have identified just one person of interest in the case. Douglas Garland, 54, has ties to the Liknes family. His sister is in a relationship with a member of the Liknes family and he had business dealings with Alvin Liknes as well.

He had been questioned on the disappearance and arrested on an unrelated charge involving identity theft.

Garland was released on bail last Friday.

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