Cooper Nemeth's parents and extended family crowded around a TV on Friday to watch the news after hearing Winnipeg police, including the homicide unit, were searching a duplex on Treger Bay in their search for the missing 17-year-old.
The family feared for the worst, Cooper's aunt Laresa Sayles said. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when no body bag was seen removed from the home.
"It's the first thing that we've had since he's been missing. So emotions were high," said Sayles.
Police removed a vehicle from the back lane behind the Treger Bay residence as well as several items from the home, sealed in plastic evidence bags.
"That gave me hope, I saw the evidence on TV that police were taking, that's good. So we're getting somewhere," Sayles said.
Neighbours in the Treger Bay area said the raided duplex is often visited by police and that officers arrived early Friday morning. The home is public housing, owned by the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation.
There had been reports that police were executing a search warrant at the home in connection to their investigation.
Volunteers continue to search for Nemeth
The Gateway Recreation Centre serves as the headquarters for Cooper Nemeth's family and supporters.
Hundreds of volunteers turned up Friday to search for the teen.
Nemeth was last seen on Sunday and exhaustive searches have spanned the city and beyond since his disappearance.
Sayles said the police attention on the Valley Gardens area gives them specific areas to focus their searches on. The family is directing volunteers to North Kildonan, Sun Valley, Valley Gardens and Bunns Creek, she said.
"We're onto something. So that is good. I've seen a lot of police in the area today. Which makes me feel very comfortable. Makes me feel good," Sayles said.
Sayles, a nurse and mother of two, has been coordinating the community searches, acting as the family spokesperson, and spending her days at Gateway before going out and searching at night herself.
"I'm not going to stop, I won't. Not until we have an answer. It's really important. It's a closure thing," she said.