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Lethbridge missing persons cases targeted in RCMP aerial search

LETHBRIDGE- Julie Hakze’s aunts, Anna and Kym, are two of four historical missing persons cases in Lethbridge.

“I do still think about them often, we still talk about them once in a while, and it’s come up more in the past few years than before,” said Hakze.

The sisters went missing over 20 years ago, but the family has never stopped looking for answers.

“I hope they’re still out there and alive, but just to have closure and know either way would be really good.”

READ MORE: Police search southern Alberta rivers for human remains

A glimmer of hope was rekindled for the Hakze family on Tuesday. The RCMP is sweeping the Bow, South Saskatchewan and the Oldman Rivers looking for human remains.

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The aerial search is not directed at any one particular missing persons’ investigation, but is aimed at finding any evidence or bodies spanning from Calgary to the Saskatchewan border.

There are currently 27 missing people who have been reported to the RCMP, Medicine Hat Police or Lethbridge Regional Police Service; two of them are known to have entered a river and have not been found.

During the two-day operation, RCMP are using two specially-trained spotters in the helicopter while they scour every inch of the rivers. If something is located in the Lethbridge area, a ground search and recovery operation will be launched- including the Fire Department boat.

Since 2010, the remains of five people who went missing in Edmonton have been discovered by air searches on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River.

Even though this search is a long shot for Hakze, she says it’s comforting to know there are still people looking for her aunts.

“Our family is grateful that after all these years, people are still looking for them and that there is still hope that they could be found.”

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