One week after two young children went missing near Cochrane, Alta., the RCMP issued a new plea for help finding the pair whom they believe are with their grandmother and aunt.
“Investigators understand that there are many people who are sympathetic to the custody situation of these children,” police said in a news release issued Friday night. “RCMP are imploring anyone with information to please contact them.”
According to police, five-year-old Leonine O’Driscoll-Zak and two-year-old Wyatt O’Driscoll-Zak were last seen at their grandmother’s rural home near Cochrane at about 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 12.
The two girls were supposed to be picked up that day by their father, Colin Zak, after he was awarded full custody of his daughters. Zak said that he went to retrieve the children at the home, he arrived to find they were gone.
The disappearances are being investigated by the RCMP Serious Crimes Branch.
“Investigators believe they have not left Canada and still believe the children are in the company of their grandmother, Therese O’Driscoll, 68, and their aunt Alison O’Driscoll, 38,” police said. “RCMP believe the O’Driscolls are receiving assistance to avoid apprehension. The RCMP is making a request of anyone who may be assisting the O’Driscolls in hiding the children to contact police.
“Those assisting the O’Driscolls may believe they are acting in the best interests of the children, however, those who assist in the commission of a criminal offence can be charged criminally with aiding and abetting.”
Leonine is described as being about three-and-a-half-feet tall and weighing 45 pounds. She has a slim build, long blond hair and blue eyes.
Wyatt is described as being about two-and-a-half-feet tall and weighing about 35 pounds. She also has a slim build, long blond hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information about the children’s whereabouts is asked to call the Cochrane RCMP detachment at 403-932-2211. Tips can also be anonymously submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or contacting them online at http://www.P3Tips.com.
–With files from Global News’ Jenna Freeman
Watch below: (From March 16, 2021) Leonine and Wyatt O’Driscoll-Zak were last seen in Cochrane on Friday and are believed to be with their aunt and grandmother. RCMP continue to investigate the possible abduction. Jenna Freeman reports.
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