UPDATE: Frank Young located deceased – READ MORE
Red Earth Cree Nation chief Fabian Head said the family of missing five-year-old Frank Young is still optimistic and hopeful their son will be found.
Young went missing on April 19 near his home on Red Earth Cree Nation.
Red Earth Cree nation is located more than 200 kilometres east of Prince Albert, Sask.
Head said the search is still being labeled as a rescue mission rather than a recovery mission at the request of family and that searchers from Red Earth Cree Nation and neighbouring community Shoal Lake Cree Nation continue to look for Young.
Head said some equipment used in searching efforts have begun to break down and are need in service.
In the last two weeks, Head said the search has primarily been focused on an upstream body of water locally known as “the Y.”
“This focus is a result of spiritual knowledge keepers (calling) for the area to be searched again,” Head said.
“The Y” is approximately five to eight kilometres downstream from the community.
So far, the search has covered approximately 92 square kilometres with 611 searchers.
The community is also reeling from six deaths and two stillborn losses since just before Young went missing.
Prince Albert Grand Council as well as the local child and family services organizations have been providing mental health support for families.
Head said they continue to welcome volunteers to help with the search and call on the federal and provincial governments for support and resources.
Carrot River RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Richard Tonge said the RCMP has used all resources and technology available to them to search for Young.
“The RCMP does not have further aerial boat searches scheduled to take place at this time. The air and boat searches will now be conducted as new information comes in and must be investigated,” Tonge said.
The latest aerial search conducted by helicopter took place on June 11. RCMP boat searches were completed up until June 17.
As the river has started to recede, Saskatchewan RCMP tactical support group is expected to travel to the community this weekend “to conduct a thorough, targeted search” of the river banks.
One of group’s goals is to try and locate any items that may be associated with Young.
“Frank is a missing person and we remain committed to locating him to bring him home.”
Tonge said they continue to encourage the public to share any information about Frank’s whereabouts.
Anyone who finds items of interest such as clothing that seems out of place should contact Carrot River RCMP immediately.