No answers for dad of missing Calgary boy

Rod O’Brien, left, and his wife Jennifer sit outside the home of Jennifer’s parents, Alvin and...

Rod O’Brien, left, and his wife Jennifer sit outside the home of Jennifer’s parents, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes, in Calgary on July 3, 2014. (Jim Wells/QMI Agency)

Michael Platt, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

CALGARY -- Theories abound, but actual answers remain few and far between.

Perhaps that's why Rod O'Brien felt it necessary to sit in court Monday morning, watching silently as the most scrutinized prisoner in Canada right now made a brief and passive appearance before a judge, via closed-circuit television.

Though he hasn't been charged and remains an innocent man, Douglas Garland has been linked by police to the violent abduction of three Calgarians, including O'Brien's five-year-old son Nathan.

For a father who doesn't know if his son is alive, or where his boy has been for the past week, Garland might be the closest thing O'Brien has to an answer right now -- and even if the prisoner wasn't there in person to answer unrelated charges, O'Brien just had to be.

For the sake of his son, he felt compelled.

"Yes, I did," says O'Brien.

But O'Brien isn't ready to call this case solved, unlike so many watching from the outside.

In the court of public opinion, Garland has already been found guilty -- because the 54-year-old former meth cook who once masqueraded under a dead teen's name just has to be guilty, since police are searching his acreage and he's linked to the victim's family through marriage.

It's not a fair judgment.

It won't be until Garland is actually charged, and an actual court is allowed to weigh the evidence, if that evidence ever materializes.

Right now, a legion of cops with dogs and boats are scouring property northeast of Airdrie, Alta.,looking for a scrap of proof to tie Garland to the violent abduction of Alvin and Kathy Liknes, and their grandson Nathan.

From grid searches to peering into a prairie marsh, the police are covering every inch of the land around the Airdrie acreage, where Garland lives with his parents, and as a failed medical student, he once operated an illegal drug lab.

But until officers find anything linking Garland with the actual abduction, the case remains open.

And O'Brien says that as long as it does, he doesn't want anyone to assume it's solved -- because that might lead people to overlook a clue, or ignore information vital to finding the three.

"Please, keep your eyes open," says the father, as he leaves the court.


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