Missing elderly couple's family hope to solve mystery

Bret McCann, son of Lyle and Marie McCann, poses next to a billboard advertising a reward for the...

Bret McCann, son of Lyle and Marie McCann, poses next to a billboard advertising a reward for the missing couple on Highway 16 west of Entwistle in Alberta, September 30, 2011. (CODIE MCLACHLAN/QMI AGENCY)

Angelique Rodrigues, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:50 PM ET

EDMONTON -- The family of an elderly couple who went missing more than a year ago has launched a campaign this fall targeting hunters and campers in Alberta.

The McCann family announced Friday they will be handing out posters to Alberta hunters and campers in the area this season.

The family has partnered with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (SRD), which will hand out a leaflet with every hunting licence issued.

The couple's son, Bret McCann, says an unassuming hunter could be the key to unlocking this mystery.

"We're hoping to attract the attention of hunters and those going into the bush this fall to look for anything out of the ordinary or suspicious," he said. "What may seem insignificant to a passerby could mean everything to us."

Brian Voogd, a Fish and Wildlife officer with SRD, said it's important for hunters and campers to keep their eyes open for anything

unusual, including disturbed ground, changes in ground level and out-of-place items.

"We are encouraging people to be aware of this family and keep an eye out for anything suspicious," said Voogd, adding thousands of people could

potentially pass through the backcountry west of Edmonton in the hunting season. "We ask people to be vigilant, and report anything out of the

ordinary."

Though the family filed to have the couple declared legally dead in July of this year, the McCanns say they'll never give up hope of finding the

seniors.

"We have come to realize that they have passed, and we held the memorial this summer to spiritually lay them to rest," said McCann. "But our family still has a burning need to know what happened."

Nicole Walshe, eldest granddaughter of the couple, says the family is not only desperate for closure, they're hoping to help prevent this from

happening again.

"There are people at large in the community that are connected to this crime," said Walshe. "It's imperative we find Grandpa and Grandma. Maybe we can stop it from happening to some other family."

The latest batch of posters being circulated feature photographs of the couple and information about their itinerary in the days before they went

missing.

Lyle McCann, 78, and Marie McCann, 77, were last seen fuelling up their motorhome July 3, 2010, on their way to B.C.

Two days later, their RV was discovered engulfed in flames near the Minnow Lake campground, about 200 km east of Edmonton.

The SUV they were towing was later discovered near Carrot Creek, about 160 km west of Edmonton.

The $60,000 Crime Stoppers reward for any information about the whereabouts of Lyle and Marie is still in effect, said McCann Friday. "This mystery will be solved one day, and I hope a key piece of information will come out this fall," he said.

angelique.rodrigues@sunmedia.ca

@SunAngeliqueR


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