Last updated Friday, May 12 at 12:05 a.m.
The search continues for Frank Gruben in Fort Smith, and a community-led search party is out for the second time this morning.
About 35 residents turned up yesterday for a search party, organized by resident Larissa Emmons. As Emmons described yesterday
morning, the community response was strong, including ATVs and a drone with an infrared camera.
After seven hours’ worth of searching, Emmons says volunteers covered much of the Town’s area, but found no signs of Gruben.
Meanwhile, Fort Smith RCMP have provided their own search manager to link up with the search party. The RCMP are also conducting their own investigation, although a spokesperson would not elaborate on the details of that investigation.
The same spokesperson said Gruben is still believed to be in the Fort Smith area, but that they are pursuing other avenues as well.
Emmons said Gruben’s mother and brother are expected to arrive in the community this evening from Aklavik.
Gruben now missing for a full week
Frank Gruben, 30, has not been seen since May 5. He is described as being a six-foot-one, 176-pound
Inuit man with black hair and brown eyes.
Larissa Emmons didn’t know Gruben personally, but as a mother of three, she was motivated to help the family find their son. “I felt really strongly in my heart that if one of my babies was missing, I would want the world to stop and look for them,” she says.
On Thursday morning, Emmons organized a search party comprised of locals. She says about 35-40 people showed up for the search party, including Gruben’s family and friends. “We had a beautiful prayer this morning from one of our locals, just praying over our search and over his safety and our safety while we search for him,” she said at the time.
Members of the search party were split up into groups of 10 to 15 searching wooded areas around town.
Emmons has a message for Gruben: “I would just urge him to please, please call your mom, call somebody, let them know you’re safe. Really, at the end of the day, that’s all anybody wants is to find you safe, and at least know where you are and that you’re okay.”
Anyone with information to share on Gruben’s disappearance is asked to call Fort Smith RCMP at 867-872-1111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or www.nwtnu.crimestoppersweb.com.
This story will continue to be updated as it develops.