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'If you have our child, bring him back to us': Search continues for missing Montreal boy

Members of the community are retracing the steps of a missing 10-year-old boy this morning in Montreal after a week of exhaustive searches and still no sign of Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou. The family is offering a $10,000 reward for anyone with information about their son's whereabouts.

Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou, 10, disappeared Monday after he left his Ahuntsic-Cartierville home

The parents of Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou say they haven't been able to sleep since their son went missing Monday. (CBC)

Members of the community are retracing the steps of a missing 10-year-old boy today in Montreal after a week of exhaustive searches and still no sign of Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou.

Ariel was last seen Monday afternoon after leaving his home in Ahuntsic-Cartierville to walk to a friend's house.

"We are broken," said Kouadio Frédéric Kouakou, the boy's father.

After a late-night vigil outside the family's doorstep, the volunteer search party has drawn more than 100 people to comb the neighbourhood Saturday in hopes of finding him.

The family announced it is offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who has information about the disappearance of their son.

Kouakou says he believes Ariel is alive and was abducted.

"If you have our child, bring him back to us," said Kouakou on Friday. "You have our forgiveness."

Ariel's mother, Akouena Noëlla Bibie, spoke Friday afternoon, saying she hasn't slept since her son went missing. She asked for anyone with information about their son's whereabouts to come forward.

"It's been six years that we have been in the neighbourhood and our son never goes too far," she said through tears. "I am convinced he was abducted."
Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou, 10, went missing after he left his Ahuntsic-Cartierville home earlier this week. (Montreal police)

Montreal police say they are considering all possible scenarios and have not ruled out kidnapping. They plan to continue their search operation as the investigation continues.

"We're continuing with going door-to-door on the streets that were not done yesterday," said police spokesperson Andrée-Anne Picard. "And we'll also check and sweep backyards."

Days and nights of searching

Montreal police, Quebec provincial police, firefighters, family and volunteers have canvassed the neighbourhood over the past week for signs of Ariel.

They have repeatedly combed through the snowy riverbank and wooded area of Parc des Bateliers, which is along the Rivière des Prairies and where Ariel was last seen.

His photo is also plastered on lampposts, telephone poles and businesses in the area.

Here are details about Ariel, who speaks French:

  • About four-foot-seven and 88 pounds.
  • Dark hair and dark eyes.
  • Was last seen wearing a black coat with a hood, grey pants and yellow shoes.
Officials are asking anyone with information to contact 911.
The father of Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou says he misses his son. Ariel, 10, has been missing since Monday. 0:28

They are also invited to visit the command post set up outside Galéries Normandie on de Salaberry Street, which is about 500 metres from Parc des Bateliers.

Residents in Cartierville are also being asked to check their backyards, sheds, garages, and anywhere where a child could be hiding.

Father wants new Amber Alert

The father is asking for police to launch a new Amber Alert for his boy after it was withdrawn earlier this week.

"All that we want is for Ariel to return safe and sound," said Kouakou.

The move came after a surveillance video taken on Monday from a home on Gouin Boulevard was shown to the family. It shows Ariel walking, turning as if his name had been called, walking again and then turning again before walking swiftly away.

An Amber Alert was issued Tuesday afternoon, but was later lifted when police determined his case didn't meet the criteria to keep the emergency measure in place.

Amber Alerts are usually issued only when a child is under 18, is believed to have been abducted and be in imminent danger, and when police have information that might help locate them.

This was the first time Montreal police had issued an alert without meeting those conditions, saying it was an "exceptional measure" given that Ariel had been missing for more than 24 hours.

Police say after the Amber Alert was issued, a woman who spoke to Ariel in Parc des Bateliers contacted them.
The family of 10-year-old Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou is asking anyone with information about the disappearance to come forward. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)

Read the latest on the search here. 

With files from CBC's Sarah Leavitt and Radio-Canada