New Brunswick

'Nothing is more important right now': Family organizes search for missing man

Kyle LeBlanc's family is worried. They've been worried for almost two weeks straight now, since the 30-year-old went missing on Dec. 31, when he was last seen in uptown Saint John.

Kyle LeBlanc was last seen Dec. 31 in Saint John. On Tuesday, his family held a community search for him

The family of Kyle LeBlanc, 30, held a community search for him Tuesday afternoon. Saint John Police are also searching for LeBlanc. (Saint John Police/Twitter)

Kyle LeBlanc's family is worried. They've been worried for almost two weeks straight now, since the 30-year-old went missing on Dec. 31 after being seen in uptown Saint John.

On Tuesday, they channelled that worry into a community search for LeBlanc, a 30-searchers strong reinforcement of the police search that has seen businesses and even the city's mayor pitching in to help track down information on his whereabouts.

Organized by LeBlanc's father, Rick LeBlanc, the searchers gathered at King's Square at 3 p.m. and continued on into the early evening, canvassing neighbourhoods, hanging posters throughout the city, talking to people, doing whatever they could and "turning over every rock" they could turn over.  

Rick LeBlanc was candid about his son's struggles.

He has battled addiction, he said. 

"The addiction issue has been very rough," he said. "We've been supporting him through it and we've been trying to get him the help required."

'We've always been in close contact,' says father

But that's "a topic for another day," LeBlanc said in an interview with CBC News, just before the search got underway.

Because today was all about searching for his missing son, searching for leads, unearthing any tidbit that could be of use to police in their own search.

What troubles LeBlanc is that this long absence is out of character for his son.

"We've always been in close contact," he said.

They'd sometimes go two or three days without hearing from Kyle, he said. But never this long. 

What they know so far, he said, is this: Kyle was last seen on the afternoon of Dec. 31. There were multiple transactions in his bank account that day.

And then "my son basically dropped off the radar."

Today I spoke to Kyle's dad . . . they are desperate to find Kyle and have him come home safely. I can't imagine what his family is going through.- Saint John Mayor Don Darling, on Twitter

Since then, the Saint John Police Force has issued a notice to the public, requesting any information about LeBlanc's whereabouts. 

In the notice, he is described as 6 feet one-inch tall, 175 pounds, hair dyed blond and red, and last seen wearing a light gray coat and black sports pants. The post said LeBlanc went missing Dec. 30, but Rick LeBlanc said it was actually Dec. 31.

Police asked anyone with information to contact them at 648-3333. 

The force's spokesperson, Jim Hennessy, confirmed Tuesday that the search remains active.

Search yielded some possible leads, father says

Rick LeBlanc said Tuesday's search yielded some "interesting" and possibly significant leads, which have been passed on to police.

Many of the searchers, which included Kyle's family members, friends and others who just wanted to help, posted callouts for information on social media.

Saint John Mayor Don Darling has lent his voice to the cause as well, taking to Twitter to urge residents to "Please help find Kyle."

"Today I spoke to Kyle's dad, and as you can imagine, they are desperate to find Kyle and have him come home safely. I can't imagine what his family is going through. If anyone has any information, please call [police at] 648-3333," Darling said in a tweet on Tuesday.

By Tuesday evening, the search had concluded, but the hope remains.

"We're not naive to the fact that potentially there could be other another result of this," LeBlanc said.

But, he added, "nothing is more important right now" than continuing to try to find Kyle.

"We're still probing and looking. And hopefully he's going to be OK."

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