AMBER ALERT: Police target estate sale in search for missing child, grandparents

CALGARY – As police continue to investigate the disappearance of a five-year-old Calgary boy and his grandparents, they’re now turning to people who attended an estate sale at a Parkhill home over the weekend.

Officials are asking anyone who went to a sale held 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 this will help police determine what items were purchased during the sale, compared to what items remain in the home.

O’Brien family Facebook photo
O’Brien family Facebook photo.

Messages of support

A blog has been established so members of the public can share messages of support for the family.  The blog can be found at

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

Amber Alert background

Police were called by the boy’s mother from a home in the 100 block of 38A Avenue S.W. where the grandparents live, around 10 a.m. on Monday.

She had shown up to pick up her son, but no one was home.

Police say evidence found in the Parkhill home suggests their disappearance may be suspicious.

“When we went to the address and after speaking with family members, the home was not in the condition it typically would have been left in,” said Kevin Brookwell from the Calgary Police Service.

The trio was last seen around 10 p.m. on Sunday, when the mother dropped off the five-year-old for a sleepover. All of their vehicles are accounted for.

Police say his grandparents are not suspects and that there are no custody issues with the family.

The missing family has been identified as:

5-year-old Nathan O’Brien. He has blonde, curly hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing peach-coloured shorts and a striped-blue hoodie.

Nathan O'Brien 2

66-year-old Alvin Cecil Liknes. He is described as white, 6’ tall and 200 pounds with a slim build and grey/blond hair.

Alvin Liknes

53-year-old Kathryn Fay Liknes. She is white, 5’3” tall, 120 pounds with red/brown hair and green eyes.

Kathryn Liknes

The homicide unit is leading the investigation, which Brookwell says “is not uncommon for missing persons.” He adds that officers are staying positive.

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“We’re optimistic we’ll find the three…we’re going to keep our minds open to everything. We are just looking at it as three persons who are missing, but as more evidence comes forward that may change.”

Since the Amber Alert was issued, police have received numerous calls. Investigators are now working through those, but at this time there does not appear to be any significant leads.

The neighborhood is still trying to make sense of this mystery.

“It’s kind of sickening,” says neighbour Peter Walton. “And it’s baffling, quite honestly. I don’t know. It’s so strange.”

“I’ve lived in this neighbourhood for six years and people love it,” says neighbour Christina Haggerty. “This type of thing just doesn’t happen. It’s very concerning, and we’re worried.

“We hope that they can return safely,” she adds.

Officers have also conducted neighbourhood interviews, a grid search of the vicinity and interviewed numerous family members and associates of the family.

“Hopefully someone remembers something from the weekend or from Monday,” says Duty Inspector Keith Cain.

“We have a big mystery on our hands right now. We don’t know where these people are.”

“We’re still very optimistic that they are alive,” added Cain. “We’re doing everything we can to locate them… but we need the help of the public, that’s for sure.”

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Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.

Crime scene tape around the Liknes’ home.
Crime scene tape around the Liknes’ home. Craig Hooper/Global News