Search for missing 4-year-old shifting to river

Hundreds of volunteers helping in a search for a missing four-year-old boy were called off late Friday as professional searchers took over and focused their efforts on the North Saskatchewan River.

After several interviews were conducted and evidence was located, all efforts were redirected to the river. Trained personnel, including the Saskatoon Police Service Air Support Unit along with the local fire department and the Saskatchewan Emergency Management Fire and Safety have been deployed.

Due to dangers associated with the riverbank, officials are asking the public and volunteers to avoid the area.

They thanked the public for the overwhelming support in helping in the search.

Search crews were spotted along the south riverbank in a park near the base of Eighth Avenue East, as well as in an area across the river from the Prince Albert Airport. What appeared to be a mobile command post was set up at the easternmost point of First Street East. A uniformed police officer and another woman were seen examining a drainage area along the riverbank about a block west of Eighth Avenue East.

Police, fire and community volunteers had come together in the hunt for missing four-year-old Sweetgrass Kennedy.

Sweetgrass was last seen on May 10 in the area of the 900 Block of Second Street East. He was wearing a light blue Star Wars hoodie and orange Halloween pants. Police had asked the public to check video surveillance between the times of 3 p.m. on May 10 until present. They were looking for video which captures children or a child matching Sweetgrass’ description.

Multiple agencies came together to help, including police and fire personnel, along with canine units. Those were deployed Thursday night. Friday, “hundreds” of volunteers responded in “unstructured” search groups, according to a press release. The city put a command centre in place Friday to bring agencies together and coordinate and effectively deploy their search resources.

The police asked volunteer searchers to conduct a coordinated search led by trained search personnel, which have been called in. The search was to start from the last location Sweetgrass was seen. Each area searched will be formally documented to ensure no area is missed.

If you have any tips or information about this case, call the police at 306-953-4222.

Thierman Financial