The mystery surrounding a missing St. Albert couple continues to deepen with the discovery of their destroyed motorhome. The RCMP is appealing to anyone who might have seen the couple to come forward.
Lyle Thomas McCann, 78 and Marie Ann McCann, 77, left St. Albert on July 3 around 9 a.m. in their motorhome for a vacation in Chilliwack, B.C.
They were supposed to meet up with a family member in Abbotsford this past Saturday, but never arrived and were reported missing soon after.
Police disclosed on Monday evening that the McCanns' burned-out motorhome was located at the Minnow Lake campground near Edson on July 5.
Bret McCann, the couple's eldest son, said his parents are responsible travellers who loved the open road. He said the family is shocked by their disappearance and the fire but are hoping for the best.
“Our whole family is just devastated, from my father and mother's siblings to my brother and sister and our children, it is just devastating to us all,” he said. “I am hoping that they maybe got waylaid, maybe the Hyundai got stuck somewhere. I am hoping they're out there somewhere in the bush.”
He said he believes his parents, who have lived in St. Albert since 1964, were headed to Blue River, B.C. on the first day of their trip.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Sgt. Patrick Webb with the RCMP said the force has started aerial searches around the Edson area and brought in search and rescue teams. Investigators are also checking bank and cellphone records all in an attempt to locate the pair.
He said they desperately need information from the public to help find them.
“At this point in time the focus is on finding the McCanns and we need public help in doing this.”
He said anyone who may have seen either vehicle or the couple should contact the police.
The pair was last seen filling up their vehicle at the Superstore gas station on St. Albert Trail at around 9:25 on July 3.
The motorhome was a 1999 Gulf Stream Voyager, painted green and white. Even though they have located it, police are looking for anyone who might have seen it between July 3 and July 5.
The Hyundai Tucson, which is still missing, is light green with Alberta licence plate ZPK-289.
Edson RCMP attempted to contact the owners of the motorhome as part of their investigation into the fire, but it was not until family members reported them missing on Saturday that they realized the severity of the incident.
Webb said it is not unusual for RCMP officers to come across burned-out vehicles and the motorhome did not initially overly concern police.
“It is a crime, but it was not that serious a crime because it was a property crime, not a person crime,” he said. “In a perfect world those steps would have been taken right away, but we just can't do that with every burned vehicle, I myself have probably done a dozen of these over my career.”
He said Edson RCMP did contact the St. Albert detachment to try and contact the registered owners of the motorhome. The force is now doing a complete review to try and determine exactly what took place.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the St. Albert RCMP at 780 458-7700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.