Family of missing Alberta RVers searching for closure

It’s been more than nine months since Lyle and Marie McCann went missing during a road trip from their home in St. Albert, a northern suburb of Edmonton, Alberta to visit family in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley.

The McCanns, both in their 70s, were last seen July 3, 2010 fueling up their motorhome at a gas station in their hometown of St. Albert. Their credit card has not been used since they bought that gas.

Their burning RV was found two days later in a campsite near Edson, Alberta, about 120 miles west of Edmonton. The registration was pulled out of the motorhome before it was destroyed by fire; the documents showed that the McCanns were the owners.

On July 10, seven days after they left their home, the McCanns failed to meet their daughter, Trudy Holder, in Abbotsford, B.C. She contacted RCMP to report them missing.

That’s when RCMP first linked the missing couple to the burned RV.

Alberta Mounties admitted they botched the early stages of the investigation after police went to the burning motorhome and found the McCanns’ registration papers. They called the McCann home, but abandoned the chase when there was no answer.

If my motorhome is ever found burned in a remote location and the police phone my home to inform me and there’s no answer, I sure hope they send an officer out to talk to my neighbors and ask about my whereabouts. I also hope that they would do that immediately—not over a week after I’m reported missing.

On July 16, the green Hyundai Tucson SUV the couple had been towing was found abandoned in thick bush about 18 miles east of Edson.

That same day, police announced a manhunt for Travis Vader, 38, who they said was a “person of interest” in the investigation.

Vader was arrested on unrelated warrants in the nearby hamlet of MacKay on July 19.

Well-known to police, Vader has a long criminal record with 12 separate sets of charges dating back to 1995. He was wanted in connection with at least 17 drug, gun, theft, and arson charges stemming from two separate incidents.

Lyle and Marie McCann. Photo courtesy Global

With the arrival of spring weather, the family of Lyle and Marie McCann plan to resume the search for the missing St. Albert couple, saying they’re desperate for closure.

Family and friends were able to search part of the area where the motorhome was found before winter arrived, and that’s where they plan to resume their search.

The McCann’s son Bret acknowledges that the family is looking for closure at this point.

“Our family has come to accept that my parents probably met an awful fate that first weekend but we still need closure,” said Bret McCann. “We need to know what happened to our parents.”

Travis Vader, the only suspect ever named in the disappearance of the couple, remains in custody on unrelated charges.

A $60,000 reward for information has gone unclaimed. When the McCanns met with police last month, they were told no new information has come forward.

The McCann family has set up a website asking for tips in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or St. Albert RCMP at 780-458-7700.

Worth Pondering…
Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

—Helen Keller

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