About 100 people took part in a central Alberta search effort to find a missing 34-year-old woman on Wednesday, the same day police issued a plea to the public for any tips in the case.
Kimberly Cardinal, a mother of three, was reported missing on Monday, the RCMP said in a news release. She was last seen in the community of Saddle Lake, Alta., on April 23.
“St. Paul RCMP are concerned for her safety and well-being and would like to speak with her,” police said.
According to an RCMP spokesperson, a police officer helped co-ordinate Wednesday’s search in the Saddle Lake area. Community members took part in the search, they said, along with members of the Saddle Lake Fire Department and St. Paul Search and Rescue.
All-terrain vehicles, drones and horses have been used to help with the search effort.
“We’re looking to see if there’s any remains or any possible signs of where she could have gone or where she might be,” said Leon Moosewah, the director of emergency management for Saddle Lake.
Moosewah said he could tell the search has been hard on Cardinal’s loved ones.
“You can see they’re pretty distraught,” he said.
“They really want to find her and locate where she’s at. They’re hoping it’s not in a bad way where she’s found.”
According to Moosewah, Cardinal is believed to have been dropped off at a home by a family member when she was last seen. He said someone at the house told police that she left at 11 p.m. that night and was intoxicated.
“It’s just so heartbreaking right now,” said Geraldine Cardinal, the missing woman’s aunt. “We’re so grateful that everybody is here, trying to help.”
Wednesday’s search started at the home of a friend of Cardinal’s and expanded from there. Family members said evidence related to the case was discovered on Tuesday night. Those involved said they planned to stay out until it was dark and then resume the search at 9 a.m. on Thursday.
“Every time something happens like this, it impacts the whole community,” said Eddy Makokis, the chief of Saddle Lake Cree Nation.
Cardinal is about five-foot-seven and 200 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She has a scar on her back and shoulder.
Anyone with information about Cardinal’s whereabouts is asked to call the St. Paul RCMP detachment at 780-645-8870 or their local police department. Tips can be anonymously submitted to Crime Stoppers by calling them at 1-800-222-8477 or contacting them online.
Saddle Lake is located about 170 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.
–With files from Global News’ Sarah Kraus