Amber Kirwan still missing - UPDATE: Police widen search

Boyfriend says he will search until she's found

Adam MacInnis webcomments@ngnews.ca
Published on October 10, 2011

UPDATE: Tuesday Oct. 12, 3:10 p.m. - New Glasgow Police have widened the perimeter of their search for Amber Kirwan to vacant buildings on the outskirts of the town. Const. Duane Rutledge of the New Glasgow Police Canine unit and Ekko searched the former Tibbets Paints building on Glass Street this afternoon.

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UPDATE: NEW GLASGOW – Police are conducting a search on Glass Street around 2 p.m. for Amber Kirwan, but say no new information is available as of yet.

 

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NEW GLASGOW – There is no new information on a missing Pictou County woman, who has not been seen since early Sunday morning.

Amber Kirwan, 19, left Dooly’s in New Glasgow around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday and headed towards Big Al’s to meet her boyfriend, but never arrived at her destination.

Police are changing their search tactics today, says Const. Ken MacDonald. 

“We don’t have search and rescue today – the reason we had Ground Search and Rescue is because we had a large wooded area and we wanted to cover all our bases,” MacDonald said. “Today, we’re having our officers patrol, we have an extra compliment of officers on for this investigation. We’re going to be going door to door, looking in bus shelters, taxis, visiting neighbourhoods, buses, and we’ll go from there.”

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Mason Campbell says he will not stop searching until his girlfriend Amber Kirwan is found.

Family and friends as well as dozens of other volunteers joined the New Glasgow Police Service Major Crime Unit, New Glasgow Fire Department, DNR and members of the Pictou County Volunteer Search and Rescue in the ongoing search for the 19-year-old Pictou County resident yesterday after news of her disappearance spread on Facebook and through news outlets.

Kirwan’s family reported her missing to police Sunday evening. She was last seen at Dooly’s New Glasgow at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and has not been seen or heard from since that time. She was last seen wearing dark clothing.

Campbell said Kirwan called him from Dooly’s and asked him to pick her up. They agreed to meet at Big Al’s. When he got there though, she wasn’t there, so he tried calling the number she had called from but no one saw here there. He returned to Big Al’s but she was nowhere to be seen.

He said Kirwan took a cab into Dooly’s and he had planned to join her, but was unable to.

He said they've been getting some leads, but were told not to go public with any until the police can investigate.

He said friends and family will continue to search as long as it takes.

"We can't stop until she's found," he said. “If she's not found in a year, we're looking for a year.”

He was personally following up on leads and trying to recruit help.

"At this point it's all on me to find out where my girlfriend is," he said. "I've got to get her home."

Groups of people could be seen walking around town putting up missing person posters as a DNR helicopter buzzed above searching for the woman Monday afternoon.

Police and family say it is completely uncharacteristic for her to go anywhere without telling anyone.

"Our biggest concern from our investigation is this is out of her character," said New Glasgow Police Const. Ken MacDonald. "With that information in mind, we have increased our search and increased our efforts.

Police have been talking to local businesses, local neighbourhoods, taxi companies as well as family and friends about Kirwan but have not been able to locate her.

Police are asking for Kirwan or anyone with information about her whereabouts to contact New Glasgow Police Service, or Crime Stoppers anonymously anytime at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by Secure Web Tips at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca.

Even people who do not know Kirwan, have been helping out with the search.

Evita Desmond said that someone came knocking at her door asking if she’d seen Kirwan. She quickly joined the search herself because as a mother she understands how awful it would be to have a missing child.”

Donna Gerrior has a daughter who went to school with Kirwan and said she is praying for the girl’s safe return.

“Hopefully it never happens again to anybody else,” she said.

A Facebook profile called "New Glasgow Police Services" is giving information about the search but MacDonald said it is not an official police page and that the department will be investigating who is responsible for the page.

The profile now has a note up saying: "this is not a police officer or a dispatcher etc when i made this page i didnt expect all the likes wich i do appreciate i really do i thank for that but i had thoughts of closeing it but when amber went missing i thought it would be a good idea to leave it up and help each other out to find her thats why its up and the updates i get are the ones i know or are the ones i see so lets keep searching and bring her home."

The site claims that Kirwan was spotted at the Needs around 9 p.m. in New Glasgow with a man yesterday, but MacDonald said there has been nothing confirmed although police are investigating rumours. He said they are going to many businesses to see if they have any video of the woman.

A Needs employee refused to comment about the woman’s disappearance. An employee of Dooly’s who was working the night Kirwan went missing, said that the woman was not kicked out of the establishment as some rumours have said. She said she didn’t remember seeing Kirwan, but there was only one woman kicked out and it wasn’t her.