Police conduct search for missing teen Cooper Nemeth in areas unsafe for civilians
Meghan Roberts, CTV Winnipeg
Published Thursday, February 18, 2016 12:08AM CST
Last Updated Thursday, February 18, 2016 7:09PM CST
Five days after the disappearance of a Winnipeg teen, police are conducting a search in areas unsafe for volunteers.
Officers said they are looking in ditches, creek beds and other areas that could be dangerous for civilians.
Members of the Winnipeg police ground search and rescue unit, along with service volunteers, searched north of the Perimeter along Henderson Highway.
Efforts to find missing 17-year-old Cooper Nemeth, who has been missing since Feb.14, have now been expanded outside Winnipeg city limits.
On Thursday morning, search organizers posted online that their focus will now also include Selkirk and Lockport.
A post on the official search site asked volunteers to look at campsites, treed areas, parks, brushed areas, abandoned buildings and warehouses.
“(Cooper's aunt) is a graduate of Lord Selkirk High School and his grandparents are residents of East Selkirk and we are urging the community to help,” the post read.
The search in Winnipeg also continued Thursday morning at Gateway Recreation Centre, where volunteers have been told someone will be on hand at all times to provide assistance.
Efforts were expanded into St. Boniface, Transcona and downtown.
Groups were on the move at 10 a.m., with additional start times at 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.; however, people are encouraged to join in the search whenever they’re available.
On Wednesday night, volunteers scoured downtown streets looking for Nemeth.
The 17-year-old was last seen early Sunday morning at a party in Valley Gardens. He was wearing a black jacket with a River East Marauders hockey logo on the front, black pants and brown skater runners.
Volunteers were asked to look near Siloam Mission, Arlington Street, Higgins Avenue and downtown.
"There is a very strong lead he was seen, confused and in need of attention," the post stated, also telling people not to search in groups of less than four.
Dozens of people combed the streets in cars and on foot; volunteers were asked to use #findcip and #ciproads to share what streets they checked.
"We're out here to try and find Cooper. We work with his mom. We've known him for many years. We just hope he's safe and we can find him soon and bring him home to his family," said searcher Ange Arbuckle.
Earlier in the day, police asked for the public's help to locate two witnesses who may have been with Nemeth in the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 14.
“There are two individuals that we want to track down and speak to, and we need the public’s help to do that,” said Det.-Sgt. Shaunna Neufeld with the Winnipeg police missing persons unit.
The witnesses are known as Derek and Brittany, and police believe the pair is driving a white, four-door Honda Civic.