Missing Sask. girl seen at gas station: police

Police say a four-year-old who is the subject of an Amber Alert has been spotted with her father at a gas station in Manitou, Man.
Samantha Martyn, 4, was last seen in the 600 block of Albert Street in Regina. ((Regina Police Service))

A four-year-old girl who is the subject of an Amber Alert was spotted with her father at a gas station in Manitou, Man., police said.

Samantha Martyn and her 39-year-old father, Christopher Martyn, who authorities are seeking in connection to the girl's disappearance, were seen Tuesday at 6:49 a.m. CST, according to video taken from the gas station, police said.

Police believe the girl's mother, Natasha Sentes, 34, who is also missing, may have been in the front seat of the vehicle but that "no visual was ever established."

Manitou is located about 140 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

Ray Bamford, the manager at the gas station — Reds Cafe and Convenience — said a man came in with a little girl and they seemed happy.

"They walked in and went to the washroom and they got drinks and went out," he said, thinking nothing of it.

There was also a woman in the front seat who appeared to be asleep, he said.

"She was just comatose in the passenger seat. That's not uncommon either, you know, someone rolls in, they look like they've been driving all night," Bamford said.

Gas station video checked

Regina police issued an Amber Alert shortly after noon Tuesday. By early evening, North Dakota had issued its own alert.

It wasn't until then that one of Bamford's staff members realized who had come into the store.

"The gas jockey that was working in the morning here, he mentioned that he was pretty sure it was them, so we just went and looked on the [surveillance video] and contacted the RCMP," Bamford said.

Natasha Sentes, Samantha's mother, is five foot five and weighs 155 pounds. ((Regina Police Service))

Samantha is Caucasian with light brown hair and bangs. She weighs about 50 pounds. 

The girl was last seen in Regina at 9:30 p.m. Monday at a restaurant in the 600 block of Albert Street, the same time and place her father was last seen.

Her mother was last seen at Evraz Place, Regina's exhibition centre, after she finished working there at 10:30 p.m.

Regina police spokeswoman Lara Guzik had earlier said it's believed the three were no longer in Regina.

"We are asking people to keep an eye out," Guzik told a news conference. "We do believe [it's] a possible abduction."

Guzik added that police received a number of tips Tuesday that they are checking out. She said there is a restraining order on Christopher Martyn that has been filed with the courts.

Martyn may be in brown Taurus

He may be travelling in a brown 2007 Ford Taurus with Saskatchewan licence plate 250 FMA.

Samantha's father, Christopher Alan Martyn, is believed to be driving a 2007 brown Ford Taurus with Saskatchewan plate 250 FMA. ((Regina Police Service))

He's described as Caucasian, five foot eight and 225 pounds, with short brown hair and brown eyes. He has a scar on his left wrist and a heart tattoo on his upper left arm.

Sentes is described as Caucasian, five foot five and 155 pounds. She was last seen wearing an Evraz Place uniform with a black, short-sleeved collared shirt, and black pants.

People with information about Samantha Martyn are asked to call 1-877-SOAMBER or 1-877-762-6237.

Police provided some details about what happened Monday. Under an agreed-upon arrangement, Christopher Martyn picked up Samantha from the house on Ninth Avenue North at 6:15 p.m., police said.

Sentes was working that evening and was supposed to pick up Samantha after she got off work at 10:30 p.m.

It's not known what happened next. Police said they received a report of a safety concern for Samantha and Sentes early Tuesday morning. 

An Amber Alert is the highest level of public alert police use in suspected child abduction cases. Broadcasters and websites make the alerts public on an emergency basis.

Alerts are issued when there is reason to believe the child is in danger of serious bodily injury, and that if information is released to the general public, it could assist in the safe recovery of the victim.

Martyn convicted of manslaughter

Martyn has a criminal record, having been convicted of manslaughter nearly 20 years ago for running down Joel Olson, 29, of Oxbow, Sask., on Nov. 23, 1991, in a dispute over an unpaid bill.

Martyn was originally sentenced to two years less a day but that was increased to 4½ years upon appeal. The Appeal Court also prohibited him from driving for five years.

Court was told Olson operated a garage in Oxbow and had repaired Martyn's car, presenting him with a bill for $1,000. But Martyn skipped out on the bill and the two men met in the parking lot of the local hotel after closing time early one morning.

The Appeal Court ruling said Olson assaulted Martyn as he sat in his car. Martyn then tried to drive away with Olson holding the seatbelt and being dragged alongside the vehicle.

The appeal judges noted Martyn spent some time trying to get away from the area, but then pulled onto the highway. Olson let go of the seatbelt and the judges said Martyn eventually aimed at the other man at a high rate of speed and struck him.

Martyn testified at his trial that he didn't see Olson but the appeal judges ruled he "showed wanton and reckless disregard for the lives and safety of other persons."

With files from The Canadian Press