Articles/NoticesFrank Young

Search efforts continue for missing five-year-old Frank Young

A Saskatchewan community is still frantically searching for a five-year-old boy who has been missing from his home on the Red Earth Cree Nation since noon on Tuesday.

Sgt. Richard Tonge of the RCMP’s Carrot River detachment said police received a call just after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday that Frank Young was missing.

“The local community members were already doing a very thorough search of the area,” Tonge said Wednesday.

Those initial searches began with local men and women organizing into teams to search nearby areas. For the first eight hours, an intensive ground search was conducted of areas near where Young was last seen as well as along the river.

Friends, family, neighbours, members of the Red Earth and Shoal Lake communities and others are all currently working alongside the RCMP to locate Young.

Searches by foot, ATV, canoe and boat have taken place. Tonge said there are plans in place for an RCMP plane with a thermal camera to search the area Wednesday evening.

Search dogs, infrared and night vision, drones and sonar are among the resources being used to find the boy.

Tonge explained two main areas were being searched, though new information could expand those search areas. He said one area was focusing on areas near Young’s home, while another centred around a playground the boy was believed to have been at.

Tonge said ground searches have encompassed an area of at least one to 1.5 kilometres by 200 to 300 metres in the area around the playground, and estimated a slightly smaller area around the house.

Some areas are difficult to access and are dense, Tonge said. Air searches with drones and the RCMP plane are expected to be helpful in those areas especially.

“We do feel the pressure and the grief,” said Red Earth vice-chief Barry McKay, who noted people will work diligently and search every part of their community until they find Young.

A community meeting Tuesday night was “very well-attended,” Tonge reported, by members of both the Red Earth and Shoal Lake communities. More than 75 community members attended and the RCMP advised people living in the community to conduct searches of their own homes, buildings and outbuildings.

Community members searched through the night Tuesday and started up again around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Tonge said the RCMP is asking for assistance from the public. Anyone who sees Young is asked to call 911 or the Carrot River RCMP at 306-768-1200.

McKay said the community has not given up hope and its members plan to search for the boy until he is found.

During a call with media Wednesday afternoon, Red Earth councillor Zachary Whitecap said the community has been strong in love and guidance and supporting each other through the ordeal. He said people are grateful for the support their community has received.

“We have to keep going,” Whitecap said, echoing McKay.

McKay said it’s too early to know if this is an abduction situation, although the RCMP said earlier Wednesday its investigation hadn’t reached that conclusion. The vice-chief said they are still “optimistic” about finding Young, even as searchers become more fatigued.

“We want to continue efforts and remain optimistic about a successful outcome,” Tonge said.

Search efforts continue for missing five-year-old boy

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