A St. Albert couple has now been missing for more than three weeks, but the RCMP insist the investigation is still active and has not slowed down.
“The investigation is certainly still … ongoing. It has not slowed up in any way. We have 20 full-time members working on witness statements, working on the evidence that has been processed, and most especially working on the tips,” said Sgt. Patrick Webb.
Lyle and Marie McCann were last seen leaving St. Albert on July 3, where they filled up their motorhome at the Superstore Gas Bar before heading out on vacation.
The couple was headed to Abbotsford, B.C., due to arrive on July 10. When they didn’t arrive, family members reported them missing.
The motorhome was found completely burned out on July 5, but the broader investigation did not get started until the missing report came in.
Their SUV was found July 16, near Edson, which was the same day police announced they had a person of interest in the case, Travis Edward Vader.
Vader was arrested July 19 in a rural home near Mackay on warrants from several different communities.
Vader has not been charged in connection with the McCann disappearance, but is being held on other charges and made a brief court appearance in Edmonton on Tuesday.
Police have searched the home and the areas around where the SUV and motorhome were found, but Webb said there is still plenty of other investigative work to follow up.
He also said officers won’t stop until they find the McCanns.
“Finding the motorhome, finding the SUV, finding our person of interest, processing those sites, those are all important things, but the ultimate focus is to find the McCanns and that has not slowed in the least.”
Webb said investigators are still eager to hear from members of the public who might have any information, including sightings of the SUV, motorhome, the McCanns or Vader.
He said investigators have received 470 tips, which have slowed in the last few days, but added any information is valuable.
“In the first few days we had a very large number come in. Have they slowed? Yes,” he said. “We don’t want anybody to believe that because we have had tips in the hundreds or some time has passed that their tip is less valuable.”
Anyone who might have seen the couple’s SUV between July 3 and when it was discovered is asked to contact police. The vehicle is a Hyundai Tucson, light green in colour with an Alberta licence plate ZPK-289. The motorhome is a 1999 green and white Gulfstream model.
People can contact either Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or the St. Albert RCMP 780-458-7700.