The search continues for a missing 5 year old boy from a Saskatchewan First Nation who has not been seen in more than 24 hours.
Members of Red Earth Cree Nation’s Chief and Council and Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) representatives held a news conference this afternoon to provide the public with more information on the search efforts currently in effect.
Frank Young was last seen playing in the front yard of his home in the community around 12:30 p.m. on April 19th. There was a potential sighting of Frank at a local playground around 3:30 p.m. but this could not be confirmed, according to RCMP who were also in attendance.
“The search will continue until Frank is found. That’s the main objective,” Red Earth Vice Chief Barry McKay said during the conference.
An intensive search began after the child was reported missing. Teams of around 50 volunteers made up of local men and women were dispatched on foot, on ATVs, and by canoe to the area around the boy’s residence and the river north of his home. Nearby Shoal Lake Cree Nation provided volunteers and firefighters to help aid in the search for the missing boy.
Saskatchewan RCMP joined in the search for Frank Young on Tuesday, using night vision and drones to look in rural areas outside the community that are tougher to access on foot. A police plane with a thermal camera will conduct an aerial search this evening.
Carrot River RCMP Sgt. Richard Tonge said during the press conference that he is grateful for the search and rescue organizations that have joined in their efforts to look for Frank.
“Prince Albert, Porcupine Plaine, Wadena. I think there’s a total of eight, at this point, with trained search members here assisting and working side by side with the RCMP and community members in this search,” he said.
A community meeting was held on Tuesday night with over 75 people from Red Earth and Shoal Lake in attendance. Members of Carrot River RCMP were also present.
“Some plans were put forward to further the search,” Sgt. Tonge said. “Some guidance was given to community members (about) how they could best assist the searchers in the community by simply checking their own houses, checking their own outbuildings, vehicles to try, yards, to try and find the missing youth.”
PAGC Vice Chief Christopher Jobb said that although the outcome of the situation is unknown, they are remaining optimistic.
“It means a lot to the community and the family as well,” he said. “Prayers are so powerful. It’s times like these we have to come together as one and support each other.”
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Frank Young is asked to contact Carrot River RCMP at 306-768-1200 or call 911.