CALGARY - Evidence found at a southwest home Monday have cops fearing the mysterious disappearance of a young boy and his grandparents may be sinister.
An Amber Alert was issued late in the day for five-year-old Nathan O'Brien and his grandparents, Alvin Cecil Liknes, 66, and Kathryn Faye Liknes, 53, after the boy's mom went to her parent's home at 10 a.m. to discover all three missing.
Police spokesman Kevin Brookwell said evidence found at the scene suggests the missing trio didn't leave under their own free will.
"When we went to the address and after speaking with family members, the home was not in the condition that typically it would have been left in," he said. "And there is some indication in the home that the occupants did not leave under their own volition."
Brookwell wouldn't get into what evidence prompted police to believe the triple disappearance was suspicious.
Police cordoned off a wide area of the inner city community Monday, taping off streets from foot and vehicle traffic for a couple of blocks in every direction from the home. Officers walked the streets within the perimeter as the police helicopter circled overhead.
Police also called the medical examiner early in the evening -- though details as to the medical examiner's involvement in the investigation was not divulged, police did say that it was not due to the discovery of a body or bodies.
Neighbour Matt Dawe called the situation bizarre -- he saw Alvin and Nathan at the playground the day before and everything seemed fine.
"He seemed relaxed and his grandson was playing," Dawe said. "You wouldn't have batted an eyelid."
Also on Sunday was an estate sale at the Liknes' residence, with a steady flow of people coming and going, he said.
"They were moving," he said. "I think away from the neighbourhood but I'm not sure where."
Brookwell said the boy was dropped off at the grandparents' house at 10 p.m. Sunday night for a sleepover, the last time any of the three were seen.
He added all vehicles have been accounted for and all family members, including Nathan's mother and father, are co-operating with the investigation.
"We remain optimistic that we'll find them but also look at the possibility that there could be others involved," Brookwell said, adding there were no custody disputes involving the boy.
"As more evidence comes forward, that may change, but at this point no, we're not looking at it as ransom or anything other than just missing persons."
Nathan O'Brien is white and about three-feet tall with blonde curly hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing peach-coloured shorts and a striped blue hoodie.
Alvin Liknes is 6-feet tall and 200 lbs. with a slim build and grey/blonde hair while his wife is 5-foot-3 and 120 lbs. with red/brown hair and green eyes.
When they were last seen Alvin was wearing black sports shorts and Kathryn was wearing pyjamas.
"We have no information to go on at this time and that's the reason we're reaching out to the public," Brookwell said. "If they heard or saw anything during the night that was suspicious to let us know as soon as possible."
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.