CALGARY- Despite murder charges pending against one man following the disappearance of a Calgary boy and his grandparents, experts say there is still a lot of work left for police.
Five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes, have not been seen since June 30. Despite an Amber Alert, hundreds of tips from the public and an exhaustive search, they have not been found.
On Monday, police announced that murder charges were pending against a person of interest in connection with their deaths.
“It’s a piece by piece investigation that has been adding information over the last two weeks,” forensic psychologist Dr. Patrick Baillie told Global News. “Obviously there’s a very large piece that’s still missing which is where the bodies of these three individuals are located, but we know from the initial information that there was a violent incident at the Liknes house.”
Police said they decided to pursue murder charges after reviewing evidence over the weekend.
“The two charges of first and second degree, they mean that they already have enough information to form an opinion that the killings of the two grandparents, Kathryn and Alvin Liknes, were planned and premeditated,” Baillie explains. “Whereas the second degree charge related to Nathan O’Brien suggests that was more impulsive.”
He adds that the news is disappointing for everyone who has been following the case.
“For the Liknes and O’Brien families, this is merely the next stage of the process for them. There isn’t any closure in knowing this outcome…they’ve indicated that they need to have the bodies of the family members, and go through a ceremony in their own regard.”
Baillie thinks the public could help bring an end to the case, which the family desperately needs.
“We’ve finished the Amber Alert, but there’s still some critical information that somebody has that would assist police and the families in locating these three individuals.”
For now, everything depends on what police are able to learn through the course of their investigation.
“To the best of my knowledge there hasn’t been any confession in the case, there hasn’t been an admission of responsibility,” Baillie says. “There are all these smaller pieces of evidence that come together to create the whole package, but there still could be some additional information out there that would assist in an effective prosecution that would address the questions that a court needs to have addressed in a case like this.”