Nova Scotia

Emergency alert issued for missing Cape Breton teen

The RCMP sent out an emergency alert for the 14-year-old early Thursday. Her community, the We'koqma'q First Nation in Cape Breton, had been calling for an Amber Alert to be issued. 

The teen may have been in area of Canoe Lake in Cape Breton Wednesday night

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

The RCMP sent out an emergency alert for a missing 14-year-old early Thursday.

Her community, the We'koqma'q First Nation in Cape Breton, had been calling for an Amber Alert to be issued. 

An Amber Alert provides the public with immediate information about a child abduction by sending out messages to the public via wireless devices and television and radio broadcasts. An emergency alert reaches fewer people.

RCMP Cpl. Lisa Croteau said an Amber Alert is broad, but an emergency alert is more geographically specific and is issued under different criteria.

In this case, police needed to get information out to the public quickly in a specific rural part of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, she said.

"Police believe that (the teen) and Darcy Doyle were in the Canoe Lake area of southeast Cape Breton at approximately 7 p.m. yesterday and are thought to be using a green coloured [all-terrain vehicle]," Croteau said.

"That's the new information we have and we requested an alert be sent out on our behalf to advise the residents near that area ... to be on the lookout, if they see these people to give us a call."

She was last seen Aug. 13 in Eskasoni.

The emergency alert states that the girl is an Indigenous teen, five-foot-one and 100 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

She has a rose tattoo on her left forearm and may be wearing eyeglasses.

She is believed to be with 47-year-old Darcy Doyle, who is described as six feet tall and 190 pounds. He has long black hair, brown eyes, and a full beard and moustache.

The emergency alert was widely reported on social media as having been received on local cellphones shortly after 12:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Croteau said the alert went out as soon as possible.

"I can't speak to exactly when the information was received [by] us," she said.

"We just know that at 7 p.m. is when they were believed to be seen."

We'koqma'q band councillor Steven Googoo said on Wednesday the community had asked the RCMP issue an Amber Alert. 

The RCMP said they couldn't put out an Amber Alert because her case didn't meet the criteria.

"The person has to be abducted and because of her age and her willingness to co-operate, she was not abducted on that day," Croteau told CBC News on Wednesday. 

She did add that if the RCMP received more information that could change the investigation. 

On Thursday, Croteau said Amber Alert criteria are quite specific regardless of age-of-consent laws.

"The information that we have in our investigation does not meet those criteria at this time," she said.

According to court records, Doyle is due in provincial court next month on an assault charge and has a number of past convictions.

He was also banned from We'koqma'q First Nation earlier this year.

The We'koqma'q band council is offering a $5,000 reward for information that would help find the girl, Googoo said on Wednesday. 

Googoo said Doyle was the girl's stepfather at one time and the family thinks she was manipulated into leaving with him.

Anyone with information is asked to call Eskasoni RCMP at 902-379-2822.

Editor's Note: CBC News has updated this story to remove the missing girl's name and photo now that the search for her has ended. 

With files from Tom Ayers