The father of the 19-year-old who froze to death in northern Saskatchewan says his family would have started searching for the youth, if only they had been told he had escaped police custody.

Kyle Lariviere's frozen body was found Jan. 11, seven kilometres west of Beauval. A day earlier he had escaped from the back of a police vehicle, according to RCMP. He had been taken into custody after officers responded to a complaint from the Canoe First Nation about an intoxicated male.

"He was drinking at the time," Eval Lariviere told CBC News about the events leading up to the tragedy. He said his son had bowed to peer pressure to drink, and that the young man wanted to go with RCMP when they arrived at his father's home some time after 4 a.m. on Jan. 10.

"'I'm going to go with the officer,'" Lariviere remembered his son saying as he left, handing him his car keys. "'I'm going to go sleep it off ... before I do any damage to myself or to other people by driving.'"

After a 20-minute drive to the Beuval detachment, RCMP said Lariviere got out of the back seat while the officer was busy opening up the building. They said the officer must have forgotten that a window had been rolled down, allowing Lariviere to reach out and unlatch the locked door from the outside.

Eval Lariviere said he is concerned about how long it took before he was notified that his son had escaped.

"Why come and tell me this 30 hours later?" he said. "You should have told me that 10 minutes after he got out."

RCMP said earlier this week that some police procedures had not been followed.

Investigations are being carried out by the RCMP and the Saskatoon police. A coroner's inquest is also expected.

Lariviere said some questions may never be fully answered.

"The lump in your chest won't go away," he said. "But we'll have to find a way to go on."