Calgary police seek witnesses in case of missing boy

Five-year-old Nathan O’Brien vanished with his grandparents after a sleepover

CALGARY – Potential witnesses trickled into a Calgary community centre Thursday as police continued to search for a missing five-year-old boy and his grandparents.

Nathan O’Brien and Alvin and Kathy Liknes were reported missing Monday. Nathan had been at a sleepover after the couple held an estate sale at their home on the weekend.

Police had asked anyone who attended the sale and bought something to bring a photo of the item to the community centre and speak with investigators.

“We just want to make sure that we’re aware of what was sold and this way we can determine if anything is missing from the residence after the sale was completed,” said Calgary Police Staff Sgt. Doug Andrus at a news conference Wednesday.

Six tables manned by police officers with notepads in front of them were set up inside the Parkhill Community Centre.

A block away a police car and yellow tape remained in front of the grandparent’s grey-blue split-level home. Family members were at the home chatting quietly in the front yard.

Andrus said the investigation is still in the early stages and police are looking for more clues.

Investigators say they don’t believe the three left the home voluntarily, but don’t have any suspects.

“It’s not getting more difficult, but of course the longer it goes on the more concerned we are,” Andrus said. “We’re looking to answer questions we’re being asked in this investigation. We don’t know the motive behind this.”

The grandparents were planning a move to Edmonton and then on to Mexico when they disappeared.

Police have said there are no custody issues with the family — the boy’s parents are married and he is their biological son. Police have also said officers have no history with the family. All of the family’s vehicles have been accounted for.

Police say they’ve received over 100 tips from across the country in the past few days and have six detectives assigned just to follow them up.

A blog has been established so Canadians can send messages to the family along with information on how to reach Crime Stoppers.

One person wrote about meeting the missing boy once at a birthday party.

“Nathan was such a graceful and polite little man,” said the poster who gave the name Susan Bergquist. “We are doing all we can here in Red Deer to help out with social media and will be here for any further efforts to help with the return of Alvin, Kathy and Nathan.”

Another person offered a message of hope.

“Every day, I am thinking of Nathan and his Grandparents. I believe that they will come home safe to their family,” wrote the person who gave the name Selina Bishop.

“The police are working hard to solve this one. Someone saw something, and today they will find that someone — and that will be the clue that leads them to Nathan. Stay strong. Love each other.”


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