Winnipeg police seek Derek and Brittany, witnesses in Cooper Nemeth disappearance

Winnipeg police and the parents of Cooper James Nemeth are asking the public for information that could lead them to two people, named Derek and Brittany, who may have been with the 17-year-old around the time of his disappearance.

Parents make emotional plea for return of 17-year-old, last reported seen on Feb. 14

Winnipeg police and the parents of Cooper James Nemeth are asking the public for information that could lead them to two people who may have been with the 17-year-old around the time of his disappearance. 1:58

Winnipeg police and the parents of Cooper James Nemeth are asking the public for information that could lead them to two people who may have been with the 17-year-old around the time of his disappearance.

The search for Cooper Nemeth has been called off (Supplied)
Police gave few details about the pair, other than their first names — Derek and Brittany — and a description of the car they were believed to be driving, a white four-door Honda Civic. No licence plate number was given.

"We really need the public's help in identifying who Derek and who Brittany are," Det.-Sgt. Shaunna Neufeld of the Winnipeg Police Service missing persons unit told reporters on Wednesday.

Police have since received a lot of tips and they may have identified Derek and Brittany.

Nemeth's parents, Brent and Gaylene Nemeth, also spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday, issuing an emotional plea for any information that could lead to their son's whereabouts.

"All we want is for Cooper to come home safe," Brent Nemeth said.
"All we want is for Cooper to come home safe," his father, Brent Nemeth, told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. This was the first time his parents spoke publicly since Nemeth was last seen in the early morning hours of Sunday. 0:26

"We know he was with some people in the late night into Sunday morning, and we're pleading for those people to come forward with any information that will help lead us to Cooper."

His voice breaking, Brent Nemeth had a message for his son: "Cooper, if you can see this, your friends need you, your team needs you, we need you.

"We love you, Cooper. Please come home. We can figure everything out. It doesn't matter; we'll take care of it."

Brent Nemeth said it is out of character for Cooper to be away for so long without touching base with his family.
Brent Nemeth, left, and Gaylene Nemeth speak to reporters at a Winnipeg police news conference on Wednesday. Brent Nemeth said he hasn't heard from his son since Saturday night. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

"He would stay at [a] friend's house but he would always text me, or late at night I would text him, 'Where are you?' He would always reply to me. He would let me know if he was staying somewhere," Nemeth said.

"For him to not come home and shower and change his clothes — it's not him. He's never done that."

Searchers met at noon Wednesday at Gateway Recreation Centre, said Laresa Sayles, Cooper Nemeth's aunt. They are looking for people to hand out flyers door-to-door, and they want to search creeks, riverbanks, treed areas and brush, she said. The searchers were scheduled to convene again at the community centre at 4 p.m.

Nemeth was last seen wearing a black jacket with a River East Marauders hockey logo on the front.

Police are asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to call 204-986-6250.

Corie Syddle talks about the need for people to help in the search for Cooper Nemeth. 0:45