In search for missing Sask. boy, police check into tips from 'visions or dreams'
As the search for Frank Young enters its third week, crews continue to look for the boy by land, air and on the water.
Young, five, was reported missing on April 19. He was playing in the front yard of his home on Red Earth Cree Nation. He was wearing Paw Patrol boots, blue pyjamas with green dinosaurs and a navy blue windbreaker.
He was last seen around noon that day, although he may have been spotted at a local playground around 2:30 p.m., according to police.
On Saturday an RCMP team patrolled 40 kilometres down the Carrot River — which runs through the community.
A pair of small boots were spotted during the search.
However, Young's family confirmed the boots did not belong to the boy, Carrot River RCMP Sgt. Richard Tonge said during a virtual news conference on Tuesday.
Tonge said heavy rain, melting snow and ice, and thick bush and trees have made the search challenging.
"There was also heavy rain on the weekend forcing searchers off the river for safety reasons," Tonge said.
"We use a variety of boats some larger, some smaller, whatever we can use to get on the river given the changing weather conditions each day."
Many community members also join the daily searches using their own boats, according to Tonge.
A helicopter has also been assisting in the search for Young, taking to the air every two or three days when the weather permits, Tonge said.
RCMP officers and community members act as spotters, with the air search also focused on the river or any areas highlighted by Red Earth's emergency response team.
Abduction is not suspected and Young's disappearance does not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.
Tonge said police are following up on any information involving potential sightings of the boy — no matter the source.
"We are still getting tips at this point — many of them are visions or dreams — but they are followed up with," Tonge said.
"At this time, none of those tips have given us any information about what happened to Frank."
At the request of Young's family, the ground search by community members is now focusing on the area south of Young's home.
"So we continue to remain hopeful and I'm thankful for the support and thankful for the volunteers that they continue to have that faith," Red Earth Chief Fabian head said during the news conference.
Head said volunteers are still welcome to join the effort to find Young.
The boy was staying in the community with his aunt and uncle. Young's parents live in Shoal Lake Cree Nation, located nearby.
"I talked to the parents this morning, and there's a bit of a level of frustration that's being expressed," Shoal Lake Chief Marcel Head said during the media availability.
"That's very understandable."
Young's family began looking for the boy almost immediately after he was discovered missing, according to police.
A winter weather system moved through the province that evening, bringing snow, wind and frigid temperatures.
In the days that followed, searches were conducted by ground, air and boat. An RCMP dive team was also brought in to assist.
A 92-kilometre area in and around Red Earth was covered during the search, according to the community.
Donations of food from Nipawin and Carrot River have helped feed the crews as the search has stretched on.
According to RCMP, over the first 14 days of the search, more than 600 people — including civilians — were officially registered with the search operation.
The Search And Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers has dedicated 2,000 hours of search time.
While Tonge said the resources dedicated to the search are reevaluated on a daily basis, the police service has boat crews lined up for the search at least until May 18.