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Reward fund swells in first few days

A reward fund announced Monday for information in the McCann missing persons case has swelled to more than $30,000 and donations continue to pour in. The family announced the fund on Monday in partnership with the City of St. Albert.

A reward fund announced Monday for information in the McCann missing persons case has swelled to more than $30,000 and donations continue to pour in.

The family announced the fund on Monday in partnership with the City of St. Albert. At the time of the announcement the family had raised $1,000 through a trust they set up last week. The city had also received donations — $10,000 from an anonymous individual.

Apache Corporation added $10,000 to that total and another donor from Saskatchewan has also pledged $10,000.

Lyle and Marie McCann have been missing since July 3. The seniors left the city in their motorhome for a vacation in British Columbia, but were reported missing on July 10 when they failed to arrive in Abbotsford.

Their motorhome had been found several days earlier, on July 5 near Edson, completely burned out. At that point police made an attempt to contact the couple unsuccessfully.

Police found the SUV the couple was towing on July 16, also near Edson and identified a person of interest in the case, Travis Edward Vader, who they arrested on July 19 on unrelated charges.

Huge support

Bret McCann, the couple's son, said the family has been overwhelmed with the response.

"We have always known that there is a huge amount of support out there in our parents and in their plight, so it is very gratifying."

He said the response from so many different people from all over the country has also been astounding.

McCann said he was stunned when the Saskatchewan donor called, so much so he didn't even get the person's name.

The St. Albert Gazette is donating $4,000, the full proceeds from a two-page advertising spread that will run this Saturday.

Smaller donations have also come into a trust account at TD Canada Trust and over the Internet through PayPal. McCann said they already add up to around $2,000.

Hole's Greenhouses & Gardens has also joined the campaign by giving away a set of four signed gardening books to anyone who donates $25 or more to the trust fund.

"It is a family that needs some help resolving the issues with the family's parents," said Jim Hole. "It is something that we felt was important as members of the community to help out in any way we could."

Donors to the reward fund can pick up the books at Hole's on Bellerose Drive. The family is sending a list of donors to Hole's, but people wanting to collect the books are being encouraged to bring a receipt if possible.

The growing fund will be used as a reward for information about the case and Crime Stoppers will administer it.

The tip line generally has a $2,000 limit for rewards. In this case, anonymous callers can still claim the $2,000 reward but if they want to claim the larger sum they will be transferred to a major crime investigator.

The reward is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads police to finding the missing couple and to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for their disappearance.

Anyone with any information can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or the St. Albert RCMP at 780-458-7700.




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