On Saturday the friends and family of a Breton, Alta. man missing for nearly two weeks expanded their search, erecting a radio tower to improve communications and getting permission to go onto nearby private properties.
The search for Andrew Nicoll, 55, continues despite the fact that RCMP have long given up on finding the missing man.
Nicoll was last seen at his home around 4 p.m. on April 21. He disappeared without his wallet, phone, keys or vehicle. Concerns were raised when his daughter, Bronwyn Taylor, heard he didn’t show up for work on April 22.
The RCMP conducted a large-scale air and ground search the week Nicoll went missing, but called it off after a lack of clues. But that hasn’t stopped Bronwyn Taylor from continuing her own effort.
Until now, the search was difficult, thanks to limited cell and radio service. But the community has rallied to make sure the search effort continues.
“For me, it’s not knowing where my dad is, not knowing if he’s OK. I’m hoping he’s OK.'
- Bronwyn Taylor, daughter of missing man
A communications company donated a cell phone tower so the volunteers could still communicate with each other while out in the woods surrounding Nicoll’s property.
“It’s huge because we are kind of in an area where there are a lot of topography issues,” said Taylor. “Radios weren’t working very well out here and our cell phones were almost useless when we were trying to communicate with our teams.
“It’s one last thing we have to worry about and it keeps our search team members a lot safer,” she said.
The search was previously limited because the volunteers could not go on private property, but they were able to finally expand the areas they could comb through this weekend.
Taylor has been in contact with the RCMP, but she says they have not found any leads as to Nicoll's whereabouts.
The most difficult part of the ongoing search for Taylor has been the lack of answers.
“For me, it’s not knowing where my dad is, not knowing if he’s OK,” she said. “I’m hoping he’s OK. (There is) just a complete desperation of trying to figure out where he might be and bring him home.”
The volunteers have been combing areas as far south as Red Deer and north to Edmonton. Breton is located approximately 100 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.