The parents of a missing boy from the Austin Manitoba area addressed the media late Thursday afternoon pleading to the public for any information.
Thomas Martens, with his wife Destiny Turner at his side, asked for anyone with information to find it in their hearts to come forward. He added the family has been overwhelmed with the support of the community. ”If someone has our son please bring him home, we won’t be angry. We will be forgiving and grateful,” said Martens at the end of his tearful plea.
It has been more than 47 hours since the two-year-old boy disappeared from his front yard.
But those searching for Chase Martens aren’t giving up hope.
“Our investigators always are mindful of different possible scenarios, but we keep focusing on the positive one. We certainly have seen miracles happen before and our efforts will continue so maybe we’ll see another one,” said RCMP spokesperson Bert Pacquet.
“We’re talking as far as I know of a little two-year-old boy that is out playing and is all of a sudden not there anymore,” Paquet said.
Wanda Thomas, Chase’s great-aunt, told Global News Wednesday they are hoping for the best.
“We just want to find him alive… I can’t imagine him spending the night out there by himself and it was cold.”
— 680 CJOB (@680CJOB) March 24, 2016
Hundreds of searchers, including RCMP, the Winnipeg police helicopter and volunteers, have been searching day and night.
Tricia MacDonald is among them.
“I’m a mom and there’s a little boy out there that probably isn’t wearing much of anything. He was playing and the next thing you know he’s gone,” she said. “It happens so quick.”
Chase was playing in his rubber boots that light up as he walks. He had on a blue jacket, black splash pants and a red hat. The temperature fell to around -8 C overnight.
Media: Sgt. Paquet #rcmpmb spokesperson will provide update on search for Chase MARTENS at location at 11:00 am.
— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) March 24, 2016
680 CJOB’s Keith McCullough was at Chase’s house Tuesday morning. He says volunteers from the area came in with trucks, ATVs and even horses to help.
“The mood is somber, but hopeful. Not a lot of words being exchanged other than searchers telling each other where they should head. There’s a Hutterite choir here that has been singing hymns. There are tables set up with coffee and food for the searchers. Some searchers here even taking naps, many of them have been out throughout the night looking for Chase,” he said.
RCMP say they don’t need any more searchers, but they are asking you to continue to share his photo. If you are traveling near Highway 34 and Austin, police are asking you to keep your eyes open for him.
He is described as 2.5 feet tall, 30 lbs, blue eyes, light brown hair.
Sgt. Paquet says the other thing you can do: “Pray.”
MacDonald says she’s been thinking about Chase’s family as she looks for any sign of the little boy.
“If I could just hug them all right now. It just lays heavy on your heart. You just want to tell them that everything is good and we’re all praying for you. The good Lord’s got it all under control and he’ll guide the workers to where they need to go,” she said. “Miracles happen.”
(Photo: Lexi Thomas and Lorraine Nickel of Global News)