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Kenneth MacNeil's disappearance 'clear torture,' family says

Cape Breton Regional Police have called off the search for a missing man in Leitches Creek.

Police find no trace of man five days after his family last saw him

Rose Macisaac and John MacNeil look at a picture of their brother Kenny. They reported him missing Wednesday after he failed to return to his home in Upper Leitches Creek. (George Mortimer/CBC)

Kenny MacNeil’s family is asking people to keep looking for the missing man after Cape Breton Regional Police called off the search for him.

Kenneth Douglas MacNeil, 50, was last seen by his family near his home in Upper Leitches Creek, about 10 kilometres east of Sydney, on Wednesday afternoon.

He had spent the day with Wendy MacNeil, his sister-in-law, going to the bank and seeing his doctor. John Harvey MacNeil, Kenny’s brother, said he went home at 3 p.m.

At 3:30 p.m., he couldn’t be found. The MacNeils assumed he went for a walk because his bike was still at the house, but got worried when Kenny’s dog barked an alert after midnight.

MacNeil found the lights on in his brother’s mini-home, and the television playing. But Kenny MacNeil was not home. That sparked the search, with police and search-and-rescue crews seeking him for four days.

“They did a search of a wooded area, which would be reasonable to think if he did walk into that area, a distance would have been covered,” said Staff. Sgt. Max Sehl.  

“All that area was covered, looking for clues. No evidence was found … so at this time we have no idea if he's walking somewhere, got a drive, or just what the status of the gentleman is.”

Sehl said the case has been turned over to Major Crime Unit for further investigation.

“Which is a blessing. I’m sure we’ll find him in good health, I hope so,” said John MacNeil on Monday. “It’s been clear torture.”

Rose MacIsaac, the missing man’s sister, said she felt “optimistic and hopeless.”

“I wish they were still out there searching,” she added. “It’s not knowing that’s hard.”

Her brother is “a good person, a kind person, a hard worker,” she said, and has never gone missing before.

Both MacNeil and MacIsaac ask the public to keep an eye out for Kenny MacNeil.