July 2, 2014 4:41 pm
Updated: July 11, 2014 11:42 am

Parents of missing 5-year-old plead for safe return of son, grandparents

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CALGARY- The parents of a missing five-year-old boy who vanished along with his grandparents are making a desperate plea for their safe return.

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Global News

5-year-old Nathan O’Brien, 66-year-old Alvin Cecil Liknes and 53-year-old Kathryn Fay Liknes have not been seen since Sunday night, when Nathan’s mother dropped him off at the Liknes’ Parkhill home for a sleepover. An Amber Alert has since been issued, but so far there is no sign of the trio.

Timeline: Missing Calgary family Nathan O’Brien, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes

In a news conference on Wednesday, parents Rod and Jen O’Brien tearfully spoke directly to their missing son.

“Nathan, your mom and dad, [brothers] Luke and Maximus, your whole family loves you,” said an emotional Rod O’Brien. “Nathan you are our superhero right now, and we’re going to bring you home very soon.”

He added that Nathan is the “glue in our family”, and that as he gets older he gets more kinder.

“Nathan, I need you to hear my voice right now and I need you to know mommy and daddy hear you right now,” added Jen O’Brien. “I know grandma’s holding you so tightly right now, and they’re doing everything in their power to keep you safe.

“Stay strong Nathan, stay strong.”

Liknes and O'Brien

She says she takes solace in the fact Kathryn and Nathan disappeared together.

“His grandma and him were best friends. I take extreme comfort knowing his grandma is with him and his grandpa is with him…she’s like a second mother for him.”

The O’Briens also took time to thank their extended family and friends who haven’t left their sides, as well as all the messages of support they’ve received.

Police are asking anyone who went to an estate sale held by the Liknes’ in the 100 block of 38A Avenue S.W. on June 28th or 29th to go to the Parkhill Community Centre on Thursday, July 3rd. Investigators will be on hand between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., and are asking anyone who purchased an item at the sale to bring a photo of that item to the community hall meeting.

It’s hoped that will help police determine what items were purchased during the sale, compared to what items remain in the home.

“We just want to make sure we’re aware of what was sold,” explained S/Sgt. Doug Andrus from the Calgary Police Service. “In other words, if anything was taken after the sale was completed.”

The Liknes’ had bought a home in Edmonton, where they were planning to live after spending time in Mazatlan, Mexico. The estate sale was planned to help get rid of some of their belongings ahead of the move.

Investigators still haven’t determined a motive in the case, but say they are “looking at a number of avenues in relation to the family and their background.”

The forensics crime scene unit has also been called in to examine marks found on the side of the house. Tips from across the country continue to pour in, and about 80 officers are currently involved in the case.

“We want to do everything we possibly can do to locate this family,” Andrus added.

“The longer it goes on, the more concerned we are.”

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