News: Son makes emotional plea

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Published in the July 14th issue of The Edmonton Sun. News


Son makes emotional plea

LINDA HOANG
Edmonton Sun

Family of an elderly St. Albert couple pleaded Tuesday for the public to help them find the pair who vanished more than a week ago.

Despite the chilling discovery of their RV engulfed in flames at a campground near Edson, family are hopeful the pair will be found safe and sound.

An emotional Bret McCann, 55 — speaking at Edmonton’s RCMP K-Division Tuesday — pleaded for tips to help find his parents.

“My whole family is very hopeful that they are somewhere — are very hopeful that the public can help us,” said an emotional Bret, taking several pauses in between his words. “It’s just devastating to us all. It’s just unbelievable.”

Lyle Thomas McCann, 78, and wife Marie Ann, 77, were reported missing by the family on July 10, days after they were last seen on July 3 when they were captured on surveillance tape getting gas in St. Albert, on their way to meet their daughter for a camping trip in Chilliwack, B.C.

Just one day before that, Bret and wife Mary-Ann had spent an evening visiting with their parents, playing pool and talking excitedly about the upcoming trip.

Found on fire

On July 5, the couple’s 1999 motor home was found on fire at a campground near Edson.

Bret said his father, having been a long-distance truck driver, was very familiar with driving across Canada, especially in Alberta and B.C.

“It strikes us as a little odd that my dad, being a long-haul truck driver, that they would have stopped so soon out of Edmonton, in Edson,” Bret said.

“This is baffling,” Mary-Ann said.

RCMP and Edson fire department crews attended the scene of the RV fire, but were unsuccessful in their attempts to identify and contact the vehicle owners. r

On July 10, family members reported that the McCanns had failed to meet their daughter in Abbotsford, B.C., and that the family hadn’t been in contact with them since July 3.

The couple travelled often, for long periods of time, and rarely used their cellphone, so not checking in was not unusual, Bret said.

An investigation is underway to determine how the motorhome caught fire. The RCMP have launched an extensive air and ground search in the Edson area for the couple and the missing SUV that the motorhome was towing.

Credit cards

RCMP Sgt. Patrick Webb was not able to say whether the couple’s credit cards have been used since July 3.

“The clock is ticking on this one,” said Webb.

“We want to get the word out because we believe somebody out there can help us with information.”

“As soon as we get some tips in, it may give us a guideline to go somewhere else … talk to someone else, but right now we’re focusing on the Edson area.”

The McCanns, who were both born in the Red Deer area and moved to St. Albert in 1964, are parents of three and described as vigorous and healthy.

Bret said the motorhome was their “pride and joy.”

The SUV still missing is a Hyundai Tucson, light green, with licence plate ZPK 289.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the RCMP’s Edson detachment at 780-723-8800, the St. Albert detachment 780-458-4300, or CrimeStoppers 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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