TORONTO – Hundreds of green balloons filled the sky in southern Alberta in memory of a five-year-old boy who disappeared with his grandparents more than two weeks ago.
In Calgary, the parents and brother of Nathan O’Brien wept and held each other as friends and family gathered in the park across the street from their home.
There has been no sign of the boy or Alvin and Kathryn Liknes since June 29, but police say there is sufficient evidence to conclude they have been killed.
VIDEO: Green balloons released in Calgary
In an email to The Canadian Press, Teena Prevost, a sister-in-law of Kathryn Liknes, said her family is praying police are wrong.
“Until the police can show us the bodies of our loved ones we will not believe they are deceased,” she wrote. “Praying we will find them alive.”
Teena is married to Randy Prevost, the brother of Kathryn Liknes, and wants people to know that family is suffering as well.
“Her siblings seem to be all forgotten in all this mess,” she said. “Kathy was an amazing sister and sister-in-law.”
The Liknes’ were planning to move to a new home in Edmonton and then to Mexico.
Alvin, 66, was described as six feet tall with a distinctive walk. He was involved in several oil and gas companies, including Winter Petroleum Ltd., which media reports say was forced to close a few weeks ago.
According to the National Post, a registered director at Vecto Resource Services Ltd., along with Alvin, said the grandfather was “a great guy to work with.”
“…Whether things worked or didn’t work, he was giving his best efforts,” said Bruce Carson. “I can’t picture anybody being angry enough to do what they’ve done.”
“He’s a golfer and he was just ready to start to retire. He was the same age as me; he had a place down in Mexico and was going to spend six months up there, six months up here. They were just a very normal family. Everything about them was kind of average, really, as far as I know they sure weren’t wealthy. I don’t understand why this happened at all.”
Kathryn Liknes, 53, was reportedly a licensed real estate agent in Calgary but had not been a practicing real estate agent for two years, according to the Real Estate Council of Alberta. A Facebook page describes Kathryn as a website marketing and SEO specialist.
A boy who loved superheroes
Five-year-old Nathan was the middle child of three boys.
Days after his disappearance, Nathan’s mother Jennifer O’Brien said that her son loved to dress up so much as a superhero that she did not have to buy him clothes – just costumes.
“Nathan, I need you to hear my voice right now and I need you to know that mommy and daddy love you more than anything in this world,” said O’Brien at a news conference July 2. “Stay strong, Nathan. We know you are our superhero and I just need you to stay strong and we are going to see you.”
The young boy was described by his mother as a chatterbox and “friendly, smart, and the glue which held the sprawling family together.”