Nathan O'Brien Amber Alert: 'Person of interest' Douglas Garland gets bail
Garland faces charge of identity theft that is unrelated to disappearances
Douglas Garland, the man Calgary police are calling a "person of interest" in the disappearance of a five-year-old and his grandparents, has been granted bail on an unrelated charge involving identity theft.
The 54-year-old had been in police custody since last Friday on charges of identity theft and unlawfully possessing a bank card.
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He was brought in for questioning from his parents' rural Alberta acreage, which has been the site of a massive police investigation over the past week connected to the disappearances of Nathan O'Brien and his grandparents, Kathy and Alvin Liknes.
They were all last seen June 29 at the Liknes home after an estate sale held there over that weekend.
Garland's bail has been set at $750 and he must report three times a week to a supervisor and once a week to police.
He must also live in transitional housing and can't go back to stay at his parents' acreage in Airdrie, north of Calgary, for the time being while it is under police investigation.
Search teams announced they would resume their search of the Spyhill Landfill on Friday morning, after having searched the site Wednesday as well as the East Calgary Landfill on Thursday morning.
A decision on whether to search the remaining Calgary landfill, Shepard, will be made later, police say.
Meanwhile, Airdrie acreages neighbouring the Garland property are still being asked to do a thorough check of their properties.
Rural property owners, including businesses, are also asked to do the same.
Emotional vigil held
There was an outpouring of hope, tears and prayers Thursday evening at an emotional candlelight vigil for the boy and his grandparents.
"We're very hopeful that they're out there. There's no doubt in our mind," said the boy's mother, Jennifer O'Brien, choking back tears as her husband, Rod, stood with his arm around her shoulders.
"We've just got to find them, and the police are doing everything they can do. I'm hopeful in every way and we all are. I hope this turns out to be a happy story, and I think it's going to."
About 500 people turned out for the vigil at the Parkhill Community Centre, just around the corner from the Liknes home.
Green ribbons, recognized as a symbol to remember missing children, were handed out to those attending. A moment of silence was held followed by a lighting of the candles. Throughout the ceremony, tears streamed down faces and some people were sobbing.
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About a dozen friends and family members slowly made their way up to the microphone, sharing anecdotes and hoping for the best.
"I like to think of this whole thing as just a way to keep the flame going," said Jeff Liknes, Kathy and Alvin's son.
"I don't want to think of this like a funeral because I know it's not one. I'd love to see them again."
Randy Prevost, Kathy Liknes's brother, told reporters he wanted to help in the search but police asked the family to not get involved in the investigation. He remains hopeful but said it has been a tough two weeks.
"Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine anything like this," he said. "You've watched movies and seen things like this, but it's not real."
He repeated the family's mantra of holding onto hope.
"I just want to look into each one of their eyes and cry for a while because it's going to be a gracious moment when it does come around."
Nathan and his grandparents went missing after what police say was a violent incident in the Liknes home. The couple had been having an estate sale and were downsizing ahead of a move to a home in Edmonton and then on to Mexico. Nathan was at their house for a sleepover.
With files from the Canadian Press