26 people continue searching for missing Saskatoon man, Justin Kishayinew

Family, friends and community members continue to search for a missing Saskatoon man who was last seen on Feb. 10.

Justin Kishayinew, 22, was last seen on Feb. 10

Family and police are looking for Justin Kishayinew, who was last seen Feb. 10. (Submitted to CBC )

Family, friends and community members continued searching Sunday for a missing Saskatoon man who was last seen in the early morning on Feb. 10. Among those helping lead the search is Glenda Abbott, a sister of the man, 22-year-old Justin Kishayinew.

The organized search effort began on Saturday, primarily during daylight hours, and resumed Sunday.

Around mid-day Sunday Abbott said that she and the 26 people searching for her brother had "covered a lot of ground" and that they'd be continuing until the end of the day.

"I feel like we're gaining ground," Abbott said. "Everyone feels good that we're covering ground, piece by piece."

Prior to being seen on Feb. 10, Kishayinew was also seen leaving his house on the 100 block of Avenue L S. on Feb. 9. His last public communication was reportedly on that day, when he updated his Facebook profile at 7:30 a.m. CST.

"He's a quiet guy. He likes to play a lot of video games, like a lot of people his age," Abbott said of her brother. "He's pretty intellectual. He doesn't have a big circle of friends."

It all helps. Everyone sending their support and their prayers. It gives you the hope to keep going.- Glenda Abbott

Abbott said searchers have been working in three-hour blocks, taking breaks after each time period.

"We've went as far north as River Heights and as far west and south as Holiday Park," she said. "We've covered most of the river area and his regular walking paths."

She said this is the first time she's had a family member go missing.

"I think no person wants to be out here, doing what we're doing," she said, noting that the search is physically and emotionally hard. "I don't know if anyone can ever truly feel like what it's like until it happens."

That makes her all the more grateful for the people who are helping search for her brother, she said.

"It all helps. Everyone sending their support and their prayers. It gives you the hope to keep going," Abbott said.

Church provides space

Helping out with the effort, Myrna LaPlante echoed Abbott's sentiments.

"I want to thank the community who have supported this family ... and I thank the people who have donated," LaPlante said, pointing out that space made available by Third Avenue United Church has been instrumental, serving as a central meeting and organizing space for searchers.

We're so busy at the beginning we don't realize the emotional toll it can take.- Myrna LaPlante

LaPlante has been acting as the overall search manager over the weekend, and she draws on nine years of experience with such cases.

She also has experiences of missing family members: her aunt Emily Osmond and her nephew Cody Ridge Wolfe are both still missing.

"When [Kishayinew's family] first realized [he was missing], they didn't know what to do or who to call," LaPlante said. "So Friday afternoon we pulled together a search and organized a center at the Third Avenue Church."

Laplante said they have also been in contact with the missing person's liaison at the Saskatoon police.

She said she tries to focus on the family, to ensure they're connected to appropriate emotional supports.

"We're so busy at the beginning we don't realize the emotional toll it can take," she said. "We try to give emotional and spiritual care."

Based on her experiences, LaPlante said families try to deal the stress of a missing person one day at a time, one hour at a time and even, sometimes, one moment at a time.

"It's amazing to see the coping mechanisms that families have," she said.

Saskatoon police confirmed Sunday that Kishayinew had still not been found. In a release sent out by police, he's described as aboriginal, six feet tall and weighing 160 pounds. He has a slim build, with short and light brown hair and brown eyes.

He also has a scar over his left eyebrow and another in the middle of his forehead.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Kishayinew is asked to call the Saskatoon Police Service at 306-975-8300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.