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Police lay murder charges in relation to missing persons

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Monday, Jul 21, 2014 03:28 pm

Residents from Langdon released hundreds of green balloons in support of the O達rien and Liknes family on July 15 at the Langdon Field House. The balloons were released at 8 p.m. to coincide with similar events taking place in other communities in the province. Five-year-old Nathan O達rien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathy Liknes went missing June 29 police charged Douglas Robert Garland with two counts of First-Degree murder and one count of Second-Degree murder on July 14.
Residents from Langdon released hundreds of green balloons in support of the O達rien and Liknes family on July 15 at the Langdon Field House. The balloons were released at 8 p.m. to coincide with similar events taking place in other communities in the province. Five-year-old Nathan O達rien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathy Liknes went missing June 29 police charged Douglas Robert Garland with two counts of First-Degree murder and one count of Second-Degree murder on July 14.
SHANNON DUNCAN/For Rocky View Publishing

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The Calgary Police Service (CPS) arrested Douglas Garland, 54, for the murders of Nathan O達rien and Kathy and Alvin Liknes on July 14.

Garland faces two counts of First Degree Murder for the death of the Liknes couple and a Second Degree Murder charge for the death of five-year-old O達rien.

Garland briefly appeared in a Calgary court on July 16 via CCTV in front of a packed court room, his case was postponed until Aug. 14 so evidence can be given to the defence.

O達rien and his grandparents went missing from their southwest home in the Calgary community of Parkhill on June 29 after an estate sale was held on the property earlier that day.

The AMBER Alert which went nation wide on June 30 - was discontinued on July 14, one hour prior to the CPS press conference held at their headquarters.

的 can稚 image how difficult this has been for you, Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson said to the O達rien family who were not present at the announcement.

Hanson confirmed the investigation has moved from a missing persons case to a homicide investigation, due to the amount of evidence collected, but would not comment on the motive of the crime.

典he family is devastated, Hanson said. 展ith the laying of these charges they (the charges) have taken the hope away from the family.

He explained the investigation痴 塗ighest priority is to find the bodies and to 菟rovide closure for the family.

展e池e not going to jeopardize the file by releasing any information about the evidence collected. There is no smoking gun this file has been built piece by piece by piece, he said.

Hanson thanked the more than 200 officers and analysts that investigated more than 900 tips from the public since their disappearance two weeks ago.

鄭ll of us at Cenovus are deeply saddened by the recent developments in the search for Nathan O達rien and his grandparents Kathy and Alvin Liknes, said Brian Ferguson, Cenovus president and chief executive officer where O達rien痴 parents - Rod and Jennifer - work.

的t has been a heart-wrenching two weeks for them, and I can only imagine how devastating this news has been. On behalf of everyone at Cenovus, I offer them my deepest sympathy and condolences.

CPS conducted a massive search of a rural property northeast of Airdrie on July 12, where officers conducted a ground sweep of the property.

Police first began to search the property located on Range Road 291, approximately two kms north of Highway 567, on the evening of July 4, after receiving a tip about a Ford F150 truck they were looking for in connection with the disappearance of the three family members. A truck matching the description of one seen on CCTV footage taken near the family痴 home on the night they disappeared was found and removed from the property.

A man called a 叢erson of interest by police was taken in for questioning on July 5.

He was identified as Garland, son of the elderly couple who own the acreage.

Garland was released on July 6, but was in Calgary Provincial Court on July 7 to answer to an unrelated charge of identity theft. His case was held over to July 9. Garland has a criminal record including a conviction for drug trafficking.

Police confirmed a connection between Garland and the Liknes family; his sister is in a common-law relationship with a member of the Liknes family.

The CPS Water Rescue Team searched a slough 500 metres north of the property, and the K-9 unit was also brought in.

The HAWCS helicopter conducted aerial searches of the area.

The RCMP was brought in due to the size of the search area, which covers several kilometres.

Towns and cities throughout Rocky View County - including Cochrane, Chestermere and Airdrie had residents gather to release green balloons in honour of the family on July 15.

A statement was issued by the CPS after confusion arose on social media around a group organizing searches in Airdrie.

On July 16, approximately 75 people gathered at the 2nd Scout Hall on East Lake Road intending to head out to search local ditches and roadways. Organizers announced they would be shutting down the Facebook group they had started two days earlier after receiving what they called negative comments about their search efforts on social media. However, some of those at the Scout Hall said they壇 still be heading out to search. At press time, they were not available for comment as to whether they would continue in light of the statement released by CPS.

CPS made it clear officers would prefer the public show their support for the Liknes and O達rien families in a way other than organizing searches of public property.

CPS issued a statement on July 17 clarifying their position.

的nvestigators have a 30-day search plan in effect that is intelligence driven, which cannot be shared outside of law enforcement in order to protect the integrity of the investigation. We are systematically searching locations that have a high likelihood of locating evidence utilizing officers from the CPS, RCMP and provincially sanctioned civilian search organizations. The Service has and will continue to dedicate as many resources as necessary to complete what has become a highly sensitive, and complex, investigation.

鄭t this time, we do not require assistance from the public in relation to searching public property, however we appreciate the outpouring of community support.

The bodies of the now-presumed deceased have not been found, and the police investigation is still ongoing in rural areas surround the City of Calgary and Airdrie.

With files from Christina Waldner


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