Calgary father makes tearful plea for missing five-year-old son

Rod and Jennifer O’Brien speak to media in Calgary, Alta on Wednesday July 2, 2014 about the...

Rod and Jennifer O’Brien speak to media in Calgary, Alta on Wednesday July 2, 2014 about the disappearance of his five-year-old son Nathan and Alvin and Kathryn Liknes, Nathan’s maternal grandparents. The trio have been missing since Monday, June 30, with Calgary Police Homicide detectives investigation and an Amber Alert issued for the child. Jim Wells/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency

Shawn Logan, Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 PM ET

CALGARY -- Trembling hands gripping a paper butterfly and small T-shirt belonging to their missing son Nathan O'Brien, the five-year-old's parents made a desperate plea Wednesday.

"To whoever has Nathan, please find in your heart to drop off our little angel Nathan, (so) he can be rescued and reunited with his bothers and his family," his father, Rod O'Brien, said, flanked by family at Calgary police headquarters, as he tearfully pleaded for the return of his missing son and the boy's grandparents.

The desperate search for Nathan and grandparents Alvin, 66, and Kathryn Liknes, 56, has been ongoing since Monday, leaving investigators baffled after finding evidence suggesting something sinister may have occurred.

They were reported missing at 10 a.m. Monday, after Nathan had been dropped off the night before for a sleepover with his grandparents, who were holding a weekend estate sale.

"I know grandma's holding you so tightly right now and taking care of you and they're doing everything in their power to keep you safe," said Jen O'Brien, Nathan's mom and Kathryn's daugther.

"I just need you to stay strong and we are going to see you ... and we love you so much."

Homicide Staff Sgt. Doug Andrus said police are working around the clock in searching for the missing trio, fielding tips and tracking leads.

"We have received well over 100 tips in the last couple of days and we have six detectives assigned just to follow up on those tips," he said, adding some 80 officers to date have aided in the investigation.

"Right now we're very positive that we're going to find these individuals, we're hoping we're going to find them alive."

Admitting investigators have no suspects or motive, Andrus called on anyone who attended the weekend estate sale or purchased items from the home at 123 38 Ave. S.W. to gather at the Parkhill Stanley Park Community Hall, at 4013 Stanley Rd. S.W., Thursday between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.

"We just want to make sure we're aware of what was sold and this way we can determine if anything's missing from their residence," he said.

The Liknes' had sold their home and were set to move to a new home in Edmonton before spending some time at another residence in Mazatlan, Mexico.


Police are searching for Alvin Cecil Liknes, Kathryn Faye Liknes and their grandson, five-year-old Nathan O'Brien. (Photos courtesy of Calgary Police)

Andrus said police are now reviewing close-circuit TV tape from the inner city neighbourhood and have reached out to Canadian Border Services to keep tabs on airports and other points of entry.

Andrus noted dark stains consistent with drag marks outside the home are being analyzed, but so far have not been identified.

Despite suggesting on Tuesday that family were preparing a reward in excess of $100,000, family members and police on Wednesday stepped back from any immediate monetary incentive for tips.

Meanwhile, family members are holding out hope all three will be found safe and sound.

Nathan is white, 3-feet tall with blond curly hair and brown eyes and was wearing peach-coloured shorts and a striped blue hoodie when he was last seen.

Alvin is white, 6-feet tall, 200 lbs. with a slim build and grey-blond hair while Kathryn is 5-foot-3. 120 lbs. with red-brown hair and green eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

shawn.logan@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNShawnLogan


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