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‘Fake’ missing snowmobiler call cost Canadian Armed Forces $88K

If convicted, person who made false report in N.W.T. could face prison time.

 A week and a half-long search for a missing snowmobiler, which turned out to be based on a false call, cost the Canadian Armed Forces almost $88,000, according to an official.

RCMP in Hay River, N.W.T., said they received a distress call just before midnight on Jan. 7 from a man claiming to be lost on his snowmobile. The line was poor and it was difficult to make out what he was saying, but police identified him as 20-year-old Shawn Lafferty.

Last week, police said they had determined the call was “fake.” RCMP say they are still investigating who made the call.

Police said it came from a tower near Behchoko and the man was believed to be in the area of Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Providence, Behchoko or Whati.

Shortly after they received the call on Jan. 7, police launched air and ground searches for the missing man, focusing on areas with cabins.

Two days later, the Royal Canadian Air Force sent a CC-130 Hercules aircraft from Winnipeg, along with a seven-person crew to help with the search.

Lt. Jeff Lura, with the Canadian Armed Forces, told CBC News that the cost of the 13.5 hour flight was just under $88,000.

“Thankfully, though a response turned out to be unnecessary in this case, it did not jeopardize any other [search and rescue] demands with the region,” Lura wrote in an email.

Local volunteers with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association also took part in the operation. Over two days, nine volunteers spent more than 10 hours looking for the missing snowmobiler.

Behchoko RCMP wouldn’t say how many of its officers were involved in the search or how much it cost.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, anyone who makes a false report like this one can be charged with public mischief and, if convicted, could spend up to five years in prison.

Two years ago in Saskatchewan a woman was convicted of public mischief after helping her husband fake his own death. For days, searchers, aircraft and an underwater dive team looked for the man, who was actually living 130 kilometres away.

His wife, Michelle Ross, was sentenced to four months of house arrest and ordered to pay $10,000 to the Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers to cover the cost of the search.

Source: CBC.ca

January 21, 2019 / by / in
Missing Vancouver actress and nephew were in hiding, according to Facebook post

In a Facebook post shared Wednesday night, Roseanne Supernault says she and her nephew are safe.

A Canadian actress who was declared by the Kamloops RCMP as missing this week has taken to social media to tell her side of the story.

In a Facebook post shared Wednesday night, Roseanne Supernault says she and her nephew are safe.

On Tuesday (Jan. 15), Kamloops Mounties issued a “request to locate.” The local detachment said it had received a report to check the well-being of six-year-old Nikaeo Supernault, who was reportedly being looked after by his aunt. Police said the pair had not been in contact with Nikaeo’s mother since Jan. 13, and asked Supernault to make contact with RCMP or the mother “to discuss the situation.”

“Contrary to the media coverage, I was not ‘watching’ my nephew, I have in fact been raising him for the last seven months, and I have documentation to substantiate it,” Supernault writes in her Facebook post. “It is clear to me that the Kamloops RCMP were being misinformed.”

Supernault says she and Nikaeo went into hiding after he confided “seriously distressing allegations.”

“Over the holidays my nephew and I were visiting his mother and her in-laws in Kamloops, and each day the environment became more hostile. I was in a constant state of vigilance as I protected my nephew from various forms of abuse. I myself even felt abused in this environment and it was nothing compared to the violence inflicted upon my nephew.”

The 28-year-old adds she has made contact with Kamloops RCMP, noting “I think it’s best for authorities and professionals to investigate and conclude the allegations made by my nephew.”

In an emailed statement, Staff Sgt. Victor Steinhammer says on Jan. 16 police did make contact with “the person whom they believe to be Roseanne Supernault and Nikaeo Supernault.”

He adds after the discussion with the Kamloops RCMP, Supernault posted on social media that due to the conversation she and Nikaeo were no longer missing.

“Kamloops RCMP wish to advise that until Nikaeo Supernault has been located and confirmed to be safe by the authorities, our investigation will continue and he and Roseanne will remain listed as missing,” reads the email from Steinhammer.

Sorurce: Vancouver Courier

January 17, 2019 / by / in
Police say Colin Ford from Yellowknife ‘no longer considered missing’

Police in Yellowknife have ended their month-long search for a 45-year-old man, saying he is no longer considered missing.

Colin Ford was reported missing in a statement on December 10, in which RCMP said the Yellowknife resident had not been seen since the evening of Monday, December 3.

On Wednesday last week, police told Cabin Radio their investigation remained active – though posts on social media appeared to suggest some people were aware of his whereabouts.

In a new statement on Tuesday, police said Ford was “no longer being investigated as a missing person.”

No further information was provided.

Source: Cabin Radio

January 15, 2019 / by / in
Police escalate search for senior missing from Toronto’s west end

Alber Marbena was last seen at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the Humberline Drive and Finch Avenue West area.

Toronto police are looking for senior who went missing Thursday night in the city’s west end and have escalated their search to the highest level.

Alber Marbena, 74, was last seen at about 9:30 p.m. in the Humberline Drive and Finch Avenue West area.

He is described as 5’7″ with a medium build, balding with a white mustache, brown eyes and brown glasses. He was last seen wearing a black leather jacket , black pants and hat, and red and white Converse running shoes.Police have set up a command post for Marbena, and say they they are now using specialized resources to assist in the search including mounted unites, K9s and a drone aircraft.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-2300 or leave and anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477

Sorce: CBC News

January 11, 2019 / by / in
Missing 11 year old Saskatchewan girl found alive ‘face down in the snow’.

An 11-year-old girl who was reported missing in Saskatchewan was found alive by searchers “face down in the snow.”

The girl’s mother reported the girl missing to Wynyard RCMP late Thursday afternoon.

The mother believed her daughter left their Bankend home sometime between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

She had left the child at home while she went out, as the girl was sick.

Police said they were called after the mother followed tracks from the residence as far as she could, and checked with her neighbours.

A search team was quickly mobilized and set out to locate the girl.

Police said a local volunteer came across a set of footprints just outside the search area roughly two hours into the search and followed the track in a four-by-four across an open field.

The track continued through light bush toward a frozen slough where the girl was found collapsed face down in the snow, police said, roughly six kilometres west of Bankend

She was taken to hospital in Wynyard for treatment of hypothermia and injuries related to exposure.

The temperature at the time was -15 C with a wind chill of -19.

Bankend is roughly 240 southeast of Saskatoon.

Source: David Giles – Global News

January 11, 2019 / by / in
Police investigating Attempted Abduction incident in WILLIAMS LAKE, BC.

Police in Williams Lake are asking for the public’s help following an Attempted Abduction early Wednesday evening…

Police say a female was walking alone on 2nd Ave North when an unknown male asked for a smoke. Once the female offered the cigarette, the male grabbed her arm and attempted to take control of her. The female kicked her way free and ran to safety and called police for assistance.

Police are describing the male suspect as a:

  • Caucasian male
  • Short and heavy set
  • Approximately 50 years of age
  • Red and black plaid shirt
  • Black hat
  • Wearing a blue denim jacket

Police are reminding those who walk alone to possibly pair up with someone, walk in well-lit areas and keep headphones off while walking in the dark.

If anyone has any information about the incident please contact the Williams Lake RCMP at 250-392-6211 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477

January 10, 2019 / by / in
A voluntary vulnerable person registry service now offered by the Woodstock Police Service

A voluntary vulnerable person registry service now offered by the Woodstock Police Service will help both the community and the city’s officers.

The voluntary registry allows family members or caregivers of a vulnerable person to give information to the police to help in case of an emergency situation.

“The more information our officers have the better they’re able to support and serve the members of our community, so ultimately it was realized there was a need,” WPS Community Service Officer Shaylyn Jackson said. “There’s people we come into contact with regularly and get to know, but sometimes with the number of officers we have not all of them have experience with working with all of the people in our community that we meet with regularly.

“This is an opportunity for us to have more information if they’re being dispatched to a situation,” she added. “We’re able to voluntarily get information and store it in our database, so if something happens where a particularly person may be involved or nearby it gives us an understanding of how we should handle that particularly person.”

A vulnerable person’s defined as someone who can show a pattern of behaviour that might pose a danger to themselves or others due to a medical, mental health or physical condition.

Vulnerable people may include people with autism spectrum disorder, acquired brain injury or a mental health condition.

Police units throughout the province continue to see an increase in calls involving mental health.

The Woodstock police and Oxford OPP have a two-year pilot program funded by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services with Oxford OPP and the Canadian Mental Health Association to help de-escalate situations involving mental health calls.

The MHEART (Mental Health Engagement and Response Team) was launched in September 2018, and sees a CMHA crisis worker accompany police of mental health calls.

Woodstock Police Chief Bill Renton said at the time the MHEART program allows better use of resources and services.

“This means that individuals in crisis will receive more appropriate care while freeing up officers to do what they do best and that’s focusing on community safety,” he said in September.

Jackson said the registry will allow the police to be more prepared for specific situations.

“We’ve had a significant influx in mental health issues over the last few years and as a result we were able to implement our mental health unit (MHEART), which has helped,” she said. “We were finding officers were walking in blind to certain situations and we wanted to be more prepared. It’s for the community and officer’s safety.”

Jackson said since launching the program last week, they’ve already had people signing up.

“This allows the person submitting it (the registry form) to put in specific information of different ways how that person expresses,” she noted, adding it’s for people of al ages. “Everyone’s different, so it allows us to customize our services a bit with more information.”

The Alzheimer Society of Oxford also offers a registry called Finding your Way for people with dementia related problems, which is available at their website (www.alzheimer.ca/en/oxford)

Jackson said when a person submits the form, it’s processed by clerks. If an officer is dispatched to a person in the database, they can give the officer better preparation before arriving to their call.

“There’s more ability for our officers to know if there’s been past experiences and how to handle a situation,”

To find the form, visit the WPS website at: http://bit.ly/WPSregistry

Source: Greg Colgan – Woodstock Sentinel Review

January 8, 2019 / by / in
Comox Valley BC RCMP Investigating After Incident Involving Child

On January 8, 2018 at approximately 8:15 a.m. a 9-year old child was walking to school on Willemar Avenue when he reported being grabbed by an unknown man. 

The child reported walking on the sidewalk of Willemar Avenue between 17th and 20th Street, when an unknown man grabbed onto his backpack. The child pulled away and made his way to school where he told his Principal about what happened and the police were notified. 

The man is described as:

  • Middle-aged
  • Caucasian
  • Not clean shaven
  • Wearing a black toque
  • Wearing a dark green puffy coat, looks old
  • Short grey/dark brown hair
  • Spoke with a garbled, deep voice

Police officers went to the area right away but did not locate anyone matching the description of the suspect. The Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit is continuing with this investigation and are looking for witnesses. 

This area of Courtenay has quite a bit of traffic in the morning when it’s time to get our children to school. It is very likely that someone in the area saw the suspect, or even what happened. said Cst. Monika Terragni, Media Relations Officer, Comox Valley RCMP. We are asking anyone who may be a witness to give us a call, and for care givers to talk to the children in their care about situations they may encounter when they’re out on their own. 

The Comox RCMP is asking students and parents to report any suspicious activities immediately to the RCMP. Anyone with information is asked to please contact the Comox Valley RCMP at (250) 338-1321 and refer to file 2019-357. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Comox Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at comoxvalleycrimestoppers.bc.ca

Source: Comox Valley RCMP

January 8, 2019 / by / in
How Hamilton police handle missing-persons cases

Every year, Hamilton police receive more than 1,500 reports of missing people.

Sometimes they are found right away and sometimes they don’t want to be found. But each must be taken seriously. When someone is seriously in trouble, every minute counts.

Const. Kim Walker is Hamilton’s only missing person co-ordinator, a position created in 2011 and that she’s held since late 2015.

“I see every single one that comes through every day,” Walker says. It’s her job to make sure no detail is missed.

Most reports come in the same way — at a police station front desk — and most are investigated by front-line officers — representing a huge part of the workload for uniform patrol.

In Hamilton, there have been near miraculous cases where people have been found days after going missing. In 2015, for instance, Franco Mamone, then 75, was found in a field in Dundas three days after going missing without his medication. Mamone was lying on his back, shirtless and shoeless, suffering from hypothermia but no other injuries. More than three years later, he’s alive and well, living in an assisted-living retirement home.

There have also been cases that ended tragically, such as the death of 16-year-old Devon Freeman ,who was in the care of the Children’s Aid Society, living at the Lynwood Charlton Centre’s Flamborough site.

Freeman was a frequent runaway, and it wasn’t until months after he went missing that detectives took over the case. Six months after going missing, kids throwing a ball at the residential facility found him in the woods. His death was ruled a suicide and sparked several internal investigations.

“I go back and review it constantly,” Walker says of the Freeman case. “I sit down with the guys and say, what could we have done differently?”

But, she says, there was nothing in that case that led them to a ground search. The last time Freeman had been spotted was downtown Hamilton; nobody saw him go back to Lynwood.

His case highlights a particular challenge for officers: the “habitual missing person.”

Of almost 1,200 missing persons reported in the first 10 months of 2018, 342 were “habitual”: those who go missing often and live in group homes or in children’s aid custody and have mental health, addiction or cognitive issues.

When someone is reported missing, time is everything, so there are steps that must be followed.

First, the officer does a risk-factors check list. There are 16 points on the check list and if the missing person checks even one, the case is considered “level one” — higher priority and must be reviewed by a sergeant. Typically, police also send out a press release alerting the public to look for that person.

Risk factors on the list include suspicion of foul play, history of domestic violence, being Indigenous, being under 12, being over 60 or a vulnerable adult, mental health or mental capacity issues, and high-risk lifestyles.

Any level one case must also go through a search urgency chart to determine whether a ground search is needed. The chart notes age, medical condition, number of people missing, weather, clothing and terrain. This assessment is redone every 12 hours for the first 48 hours of an investigation.

Hamilton police do about a dozen ground searches each year, says search manager Sgt. Fab Guiliani.

There are 12 managers who direct ground searches using all available resources from patrol, ACTION, mounted units, ATVs and canine.

There are about 45 specialty-search officers who work in various units across the service who may also be called in. They’re experts in navigation and GPS, and looking for clues like tracks.

Guiliani takes all the information and maps out searches. This allows him to see if a pocket has been missed or if there is an area that needs more resources.

He said this year all but two of the searches ended happily. Two people were found dead — one by suicide and the other of exposure.

“For us, everything is time sensitive — the longer a person is missing, the wider the area becomes.”

The most useful piece of information for a ground search is the last place a person was seen. Without that, police don’t have a place to start. It’s not true that one must wait for someone to be missing 24 hours.

“That person may have been missing 12 times in last 12 days, but you never know when one is going to be the legitimate time and they’re going to be a missing person,” Guiliani said.

Since November 2015, police have partnered with MedicAlert, giving officers access to the company’s databank and GPS program. Since then, police have accessed the MedicAlert databank 202 times to help find missing people faster, often in cases involving people with dementia or Alzheimer’s who wander.

At any given time, there are usually fewer than 20 missing person cases on the go. During an interview with The Spectator late last month, , Walker said that number was quite low: just six.

Most cases, even when they’re level one, stay with patrol. But the most serious, ones in which there is evidence something is wrong, go to detectives.

Usually, that means the criminal investigations branch, where detectives have the resources, experience and connections to dig deeper, including having bank and cellphone accounts flagged.

Walker said social media has increasingly become a tool used to measure whether a case rises to the level of a criminal investigation. That is what happened in the case of Monica Chisar, last seen in July and reported missing by family in September.

Walker described Chisar as “transient in nature,” with mental health and addiction issues. She moved around a lot and it was somewhat normal behaviour for her to not be in touch with family.

But what was consistent was her social media posts; she liked to share pictures of her travels. Once police started looking into her case, they found her social media activity had completely stopped.

So, on Oct. 23, her case was transferred to detectives.

In rare cases, such as the January 2018 domestic homicide of Holly Hamilton — missing for days before he body was found in the trunk of her car — there is enough evidence for homicide detectives from the major crime unit to take over the case.

There are also 17 “cold cases” listed on a special missing persons section of the Hamilton police website, stretching back to 1981.

The most recent is that of William (Bill) Bokstein, who was 50 when he disappeared in February after dropping his teenaged daughter off at school. Police and family know he went to Niagara Falls where he was captured on surveillance taking out money near the Fallsview Casino Feb. 25.

For Christine, his wife of 26 years, the not knowing is agonizing.

She believes he has likely passed away. Before his disappearance, Bill faced several losses of loved ones and wasn’t taking it well. He would never just walk out on his family, she said.

The morning he left, Friday, Feb. 23, Bill was still sleeping as she got ready for work. He woke and said he’d take their then 15-year-old daughter to school. All seemed normal.

He took his daughter to school and then, without a word, appears to have gone to Niagara Falls.

That night, when Christine and her daughter returned home, she questioned whether she’d heard from her dad that day. Bill used to call and text his family a lot — sometimes 30 times a day — but he also was prone to misplacing his phone and sometimes picked up extra shifts working overnight as a personal support worker.

Christine took her daughter to dance and, when Bill still hadn’t called by the time they were home, she became more worried. His silence was glaring. Christine said she fell asleep waiting for Bill and then called police the next morning.

She had searched their bank account and saw the hotel charges in Niagara Falls. At first, she was bounced around between Hamilton and Niagara police, but Hamilton eventually took charge.

Christine believes nobody took the case seriously enough at first because he was an adult man without any known health or mental health issues. She’s not sure how extensively police searched for him in Niagara Falls and believes any police investigation was likely too late.

Bill was family man who loved to make people smile and loved his daughter, she said. He would talk to anyone and people would remember meeting the friendly, tattooed man.

Police later found his cellphone in his car but not his wallet.

“I know Bill. If he was not at the gym or working, he was at home watching ‘Judge Judy,'” she said. One of his many tattoos is “Judge Judy.”

The family is also working with a private investigator, John Cowen of J.M.C. Security & Investigations.

Walker says police are stuck in this case. They’ve “exhausted all leads” and are “trying to think outside the box.

Source: Nicole O’Reilly The Hamilton Spectator

January 4, 2019 / by / in
Austin and Marshall Creeley, Missing Youths From Regina, Saskatchewan.


The Regina Police Service is asking the public for their help in locating two Regina youths, 11 year old Marshall Creeley and 16 year old Austin Creeley. Regina police reports that they were last seen around noon on December 14, 2018, on the 1700 block of College Avenue in Regina.

Sixteen year-old Austin James Creeley is described as male, Indigenous, 5’9″, 160 lbs., medium build, medium complexion with short brown hair and brown eyes.

11 year-old Marshall Creeley is described as male, Indigenous, 5’2″, 100 lbs., thin build, medium complexion with short black hair and brown eyes.

There is no evidence that the youths have come to harm, Police would like to confirm that they are safe.

Anyone with information that could assist police in locating Austin and Marshall Creeley is asked to contact the Regina Police Service at 306-777-6500, or your local law enforcement agency, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

January 2, 2019 / by / in