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Vader caught, McCanns still missing

The RCMP has arrested a person of interest in the case of a missing couple, but the elderly pair from St. Albert remains missing.

The RCMP has arrested a person of interest in the case of a missing couple, but the elderly pair from St. Albert remains missing.

Tactical officers stormed a house near Mackay in the early morning hours Monday and took Travis Edward Vader and another man into custody.

Vader was arrested on a number of outstanding warrants and is now being questioned in relation to the disappearance of Lyle and Marie McCann, who were last seen at the Superstore gas bar shortly after leaving their St. Albert home on July 3.

The other man was released without charge on Tuesday. A lawyer also made a brief court appearance in Edson on Vader's behalf. His next appearance is set for Edmonton on July 27.

Vader has a lengthy list of outstanding criminal charges in a host of communities including Barrhead, Mayerthorpe, Edson, Edmonton, Evansburg and St. Albert.

The charges include weapons and drug offences, as well as possession of stolen property, mischief and arson.

In St. Albert, he faces charges of driving while unauthorized and driving without insurance. He had a court date set for June 25, but never attended. A warrant was sworn for his arrest. A new court date has not been set.

In the McCann case, police are only calling him a person of interest and are still searching for the McCanns.

The couple left St. Albert on July 3 and were reported missing on July 10 when they failed to arrive in Abbotsford B.C. Their motorhome was found burned out near Edson on July 5. They were towing an SUV behind the motorhome, which was found on Friday.

Police are still hoping someone might have seen Vader, the SUV or the motorhome over the last two weeks as they try and better piece together what happened to the couple.

"Any type of information relevant to this case, we want to hear from people. It is kind of like a jigsaw puzzle, we want to get all the pieces together so we can see the big picture," said RCMP Sgt. Tim Taniguchi.

The SUV is a light green Hyundai Tucson with an Alberta licence plate ZPK 289 and the motorhome was a 1999 green and white Gulfstream.

Bret McCann, the couple's son, said the family is trying to stay upbeat and is still hoping for the best.

"We are anxious and we are all supporting each other and we are trying not to think of the various scenarios."

Loving couple

Friends and family of the McCanns describe them as a loving and pleasant couple they all hope to see home safe.

Norm Muffitt, who has lived beside the couple since 1973 when he first moved onto their Grandin street, said it was clear the pair was very close.

"You would see them at night going for walks and holding hands and he used to call her darling."

The pair's granddaughter Nicole Walshe said the bond between her grandparents was remarkable.

"They are just something that I would love for my marriage to be like in 50 years. They are someone that I look up to."

She said her grandfather is an incredibly friendly man and has always shared a lot of wisdom.

"Grandpa to me is like Mr. Rogers — he is always in his cardigan and he loves to tell stories," she said. "He is incredibly intelligent so he knows a lot about everything. He is the kind of man you would go to for advice."

She said Marie was a typical grandmother who loves to bake, cook and always has time for her family.

Muffitt said the pair has always been excellent neighbours and were always friendly.

"If you were out front mowing your lawn, Lyle or Marie would walk across the street and have a chat," he said. "They were always willing to stop over and say hello."

Walshe said her grandparents have been constantly involved in her life. They weren't just around at Christmas or Easter.

She said people keep asking how she is coping and she believes she can because of the strength of her grandparents.

"We are just looking to Grandpa and Grandma. We really feel their strength and they are together and I feel like they are sending us their strength and we are sending them ours."

Anyone with any information on the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or the St. Albert RCMP at 780-458-7700.

The family has also set up a website with a collection of information and photographs at There is also a Facebook group with over 30,000 members.

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