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Still no sign of missing Calgary family, despite exhaustive search

UPDATE: Police search Calgary landfill, as search for missing family continues 

CALGARY- Police and RCMP say they continue to follow up on a number of leads, but there is still no sign of a five-year-old boy and his grandparents who vanished over a week ago.

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

Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathryn Liknes haven’t been seen since June 30, when Nathan’s mother dropped him off at their Parkhill home for a sleepover. Officers have named Douglas Garland as a person of interest in the case, and confirmed he has links to the Liknes family. They have been searching his property north of Calgary since Saturday.

READ MORE: Parole documents cite concerns about person of interest in missing family case

“Investigators are working day and night to resolve this as quickly as possible,” said Kevin Brookwell from the Calgary Police Service, in a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

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“This investigation will continue until no stone is left unturned.”

Police search a property north of Calgary.
Police search a property north of Calgary. Jenna Bridges/Global News
Police search a property north of Calgary.
Police search a property north of Calgary. Sarah Offin/Global News
On Sunday, July 6, 2014 officers could be seen focusing their efforts on a pond about 500 metres north of the home, and brought in the K9 Unit and a boat to search the body of water.
On Sunday, July 6, 2014 officers could be seen focusing their efforts on a pond about 500 metres north of the home, and brought in the K9 Unit and a boat to search the body of water. Global News

RCMP members are also assisting.

“We’re looking at an area that’s several square kilometres, and we don’t know if we’re going to have to search that entire area,” explained Insp. Garrett Woolsey, commander of Special Tactical Operations for RCMP. He added that this case is different than other missing persons cases, where volunteers are brought in to help search large areas.

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“We are currently looking for evidence related to a missing persons case, that’s why we’re using police officers.”

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.
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. Police Handout
66-year-old Alvin Cecil Liknes. He is described as white, 6’ tall and 200 pounds with a slim build and grey/blond hair.
66-year-old Alvin Cecil Liknes. He is described as white, 6’ tall and 200 pounds with a slim build and grey/blond hair. Police Handout
53-year-old Kathryn Fay Liknes. She is white, 5’3” tall, 120 pounds with red/brown hair and green eyes.
53-year-old Kathryn Fay Liknes. She is white, 5’3” tall, 120 pounds with red/brown hair and green eyes. Police Handout

Calgary Police confirmed that a truck was seized from the property over the weekend, matching the description of a Ford 150 seen on CCTV in the area the night of the family’s disappearance. However, Brookwell is asking anyone with tips to continue to call them in—especially those who live in Parkhill.

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“If folks know of any other truck that could match the description, absolutely give us a call…have a look around your own property, see if there is something missing or suspicious.”

Parkhill Liknes Truck 2

Nearly 90 people who were at an estate sale at the Liknes’ home have also spoken with investigators, and police are asking everyone else who was there to contact them. Meantime, about 100 investigators are involved in the case, which Brookwell maintains is still a missing persons investigation.

“At this point there’s no indication [to suggest] otherwise, so we are hopeful we will find them alive.”
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He adds they continue to follow up on “other investigative leads” and are awaiting results from the crime lab on a number of items seized during the search. While he wouldn’t say what is being analyzed, Brookwell did say they’re still trying to determine if they’re relevant to the case.

Police also continue to keep the family updated.

“We keep them looped in on all the investigative things that are moving forward.

“As you can understand, this is very traumatic, and they’re devastated by the loss of these family members.”

An Amber Alert remains in effect, as tips continue to come in from across Canada.

WATCH: Kevin Brookwell of the Calgary Police and Insp. Garrett Woolsey of the RCMP speak to the media about the latest developments in the missing persons investigation.
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