RCMP major crime unit joining in investigation

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Ground search and rescue teams not on patrol today

UPDATE – Thursday, Oct. 13, 2:44 p.m. –  There is no new information in the investigation into the disappearance of Amber Kirwan at this time. Search and rescue volunteers are no longer searching the area and the RCMP's major crime unit has joined forces with the New Glasgow major crime unit in the investigation.

UPDATE – Thursday, Oct. 13, 9:08 a.m. –  There were no new developments in the case overnight. Amber Kirwan, 19, has not been seen since early Sunday morning.
 Police are still classifying Kirwan’s disappearance as a missing person and there have been no further information on the black objects that looked like shoes that were found in a grassy area near downtown New Glasgow Wednesday.

“We’re continuing to analyze the evidence,” said Const. Ken MacDonald. Police are currently in a briefing on the case.

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NEW GLASGOW – Police say they have questioned Amber Kirwan's boyfriend about her disappearance, but that is just a typical part of an investigation like this.

New Glasgow Police Const. Ken MacDonald confirmed Wednesday night that they have talked to Mason Campbell, but said that is not out of the ordinary. He said in a missing person's case they always question those who are close to the suspect and those who last saw her to get as much information as they can.

Campbell said he has talked to police two times for a total of about four hours.

"They have to get all my information and I need them to get all my information. That's why it is four hours of full-out information," he said.

Campbell was supposed to meet Kirwan around 1:30 a.m. Sunday at Big Al's after she left Doolys but she never showed up.

He said he didn't want to drive all the way into town because his car inspection and insurance is up and he isn't supposed to drive after midnight.

He said this isn't the first time that he and Kirwan have agreed to meet at a nearby location because of the same reasons.

Wednesday night Campbell took part in a riverside vigil for Kirwan.

"We're all going to hope and pray for her safe return," he said.

Police widened their focus area and called in extra recruits Wednesday in the search for the 19-year-old Pictou County woman.

New Glasgow Police said as of yesterday evening no new leads have been found in the missing persons case of Amber Kirwan who was last seen outside of Doolys in downtown New Glasgow.

Const. MacDonald said several out of town search and rescue teams were called in as well as RCMP and members of the New Glasgow Fire Department to help with the search efforts.

“We expanded the search with the New Glasgow Fire Department boat, RCMP boat and having ground search and rescue members in kayaks,” he said. “Searchers are also in wooded areas.”

He estimated there were more than a 100 people involved in the search yesterday. He said on Sunday, searchers looked at areas within a close proximity of Doolys and on Monday they focused on vacant buildings that ground search and rescue volunteers could not enter. Yesterday’s search expanded to areas such as Fraser’s Mountain, Stellarton and Pictou Landing.

Steve Cameron of Pictou County Ground Search and Rescue said about 24 members from the local organization were out yesterday and they would continue to work until they were no longer needed.

New Glasgow Police were spotted picking up black objects, which looked like shoes, from a grassy area near downtown New Glasgow yesterday afternoon, but MacDonald wouldn’t confirm if the objects was relevant to Kirwan’s disappearance.

“There have been reports of various types of clothing from the public because we are asking the public’s assistance,” he said. “If there is anything of interest, information is gathered and analysis will be done by our investigators.”

Meanwhile, family and friends of Kirwan are continuing their own search by putting up posters throughout the county as well as coordinating volunteer efforts across the province. The group has been asked to be respectful of the work being done by ground search and rescue volunteers and to stay out of wooded areas to ensure they aren’t contaminating any areas.

Mariea Leil-Bower set up her own command post outside of the North End Recreation Centre yesterday where people could pick up posters and she could help organize the volunteers.

“I am just praying to God we can get her home,”  she said as stacks of flyers with Kirwan’s face and description sat beside her on the centre’s steps. She said the public has been very supportive, adding businesses have donated flyers while local media have been good get the word out about flyer distribution spots.

She said it was mentioned that some areas were being duplicated by volunteers and a better system was needed so she decided this was a job she could take on.  She contacted the North End Recreation Centre which donated their building to the volunteers and she let it be known on local media sites and Facebook that she would be coordinating poster giveaways.

“The community is really pulling together,” she said. “One woman said she heard it on the Truro radio station this morning and got in her car and drove from Truro for posters.”

She said people were dropping in to take posters to Cape Breton, Halifax, Earltown and Caribou ferry terminal as well as other parts of the county.

Margaret Ueland of New Glasgow took a handful of posters from Leil-Bower yesterday morning and planned on distributing them in her neighbourhood.

She said she doesn’t know Kirwan, but has two daughters of her own and can relate to what her family must be going through.

“How could you not help out?” she said. “Even if you can come out for a half hour. I am worried that after a few days people will go back to their lives and forget about this.”

Holly Parr of New Glasgow stopped in the recreation centre on her way to work yesterday morning for some posters because she wants to help anyway that she can.

“I have a daughter who is 18 and it’s scary,” she said. “Something happened in that little area and it’s so open. It gives me shivers.”

Leil-Bowers said anyone interested in distributing missing person posters can contact her at 771-2280.

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Recent comments

  • Len & Bea Walser
    October 14, 2011 - 19:31

    To Don and his family, our prayers are with you and your family in wishing Amber's safe return home.

  • Sarah
    October 13, 2011 - 16:15

    Never lose hope. My whole heart goes out to the loved ones of Amber, stay strong.

  • Belinda Thorne
    October 13, 2011 - 13:57

    You and your family are in my prayers for Ambers safe return. God be with you all.

  • Kelly Tobin
    October 12, 2011 - 22:53

    God,Donny, My heart so goes out to you.May God bless you and your family with Amber's safe return

    • Karen & Don Killen
      October 13, 2011 - 19:21

      Donnie our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time for Amber's safe return.

    • Karen & Don Killen
      October 13, 2011 - 19:31

      Donny our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time for Amber's safe return.