The community rallied together on Saturday to take part in a volunteer search effort for missing Mount Allison University student Chris Metallic, whose unexplained disappearance from Sackville more than two months ago has left investigators, family members and friends at a loss as to where to turn next.
A search party made up of more than 80 volunteers set out at about 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and spent nearly eight hours searching a number of locations around the Sackville area for Metallic, who disappeared back in November.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t find Chris,” said search organizer Amanda Cardinal-Stright. “Nothing was found.”
Cardinal-Stright said although the weather was frigid on Saturday, Chris’ family members were amazed once again by the support shown by the community – including those who came out throughout the day either to aid in the search, provide donations or to keep the searchers warm and fed.
“His mother was overwhelmed by the people who showed up,” she said.
Cardinal-Stright said about a dozen locations were scouted by the searchers on Saturday, areas that hadn’t previously been covered by the RCMP or the family’s ongoing searches – including Folkins Drive, Fairfield Road, High Marsh Road, Woodpoint, etc.
She said although Saturday's search didn’t uncover any new clues, it did show there are plenty of people still willing to help with the efforts and still more places to scour. Of course, this will be dependent on the weather, since this week’s recent snowfall will hamper those efforts.
Cardinal-Stright said Metallic’s family members have been spending every possible moment they could looking for their son – searching along the frozen river banks, in the woods, in abandoned buildings and barns, along trails, and more.
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“We’ve been out searching all over the place . . . day after day, week after week.”
Cardinal-Stright, who is from Murray Corner, said she has been helping with the family searches since Metallic went missing. She said she met his mom Mandy during one of those searches and she has kept in touch with her on Facebook since that time.
“I have a little one myself so I can’t imagine being in that position . . . I just want to be there to give her my support,” she said prior to the search.
Metallic was last seen Nov. 25 on Bridge Street, after leaving a house party on Allison Avenue in Sackville. He was also reportedly seen several hours later along the Upper Aboujagne Road, nearly 15 kilometres away from downtown Sackville. The RCMP searched the area for several days with a helicopter, police dog and a team of divers.
But the active search was called off on Dec. 4 after no new clues or information were coming in as to Metallic’s whereabouts.
Described as aboriginal, six feet tall, 180 lbs, with short dark brown hair and brown eyes, Chris was said to be wearing a shiny bright blue zip-up hoodie, jeans and flip-flops when he went missing.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the RCMP at 1-888-506-RCMP (7267) or N.B. Crime Stoppers online at crimenb.ca or 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). The RCMP is continuing to investigate any tips or leads that come in.
The family is offering a $5,000 reward for any clues that might lead them to Chris’ whereabouts.