Police search southern Alberta rivers for human remains

The Bow river flows through Canmore, Alta., in this aerial photo, Thursday, May 12, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – Authorities will be searching rivers in southern Alberta this week in an attempt to locate any remains which may have ended up in the water.

“The search is not for a specific individual, but it is a sad reality that some people voluntarily enter or fall into the dangerous waters of the river and are unable to get themselves out,” explained Cst. Lynn MacDonald with the Calgary Police Service Missing Persons Team.

“We hope to be able to bring some answers to families that have missing loved ones.”

The search involves members of the RCMP and various regional police departments, and will include helicopter tours of the Bow Rivers and North Saskatchewan River, as well as the Oldman River.

If crews spot anything of interest, aquatic rescue divers will investigate further.

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Should any bodies be retrieved, a Medical Examiner will determine the identity of the individual and ensure no crime occurred.

Police say waterways are typically clearest at this time of year, and water levels in southern Alberta are currently at their lowest, which makes it a good time to conduct the searches.

RCMP officers already conducted river searches in central and northern Alberta earlier this year, at which time remains were located along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River.

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