SACKVILLE, N.B. – The community will rally together on Saturday to take part in a volunteer search effort for missing Mount Allison University student Chris Metallic, whose unexplained disappearance more than two months ago has left investigators, family members and friends at a loss as to where to turn next.
Organizer Amanda Cardinal-Stright said more than 80 volunteers have already offered their assistance for Saturday’s search and she is hoping more will come out to help.
The search will get under way Saturday morning, starting with sign-in at 9 a.m. at Sackville’s visitor information centre. From there, volunteers will receive instructions and directions as to the areas they will be searching.
Cardinal-Stright said everyone is welcome to come out and help with the search efforts, which will see volunteers divided into different groups to cover more ground.
Cardinal-Stright said there are four areas in particular that Chris’ family would like to see focused on, which haven’t been part of the previous searches.
Although the RCMP suspended their official search about a week after Chris’ disappearance, family and friends have continued to look for him during the past eight weeks –with some help from area residents as well.
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Cardinal-Stright, who is from Murray Corner, said she has been helping with the family searches since the beginning. She said she met Chris’ 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.”
Cardinal-Stright said Chris’ family and friends have spent every possible moment they could looking for new clues or leads – searching along the frozen river banks, in the woods, in abandoned buildings and barns, along trails, and more.
“We’ve been out searching all over the place . . . day after day, week after week,” said Cardinal-Stright.
“Now it’s up to the community.”
She said most of the areas from Aboujagne Road through to Woodpoint, including the banks of the Tantramar River, have been combed over. But there are about four locations that have yet to be searched. These are the locations volunteers will be covering on Saturday, with grids being marked out on the map “so every piece of ground gets covered.”
"I am determined to find that boy . . . to give that family the peace they deserve." - Amanda Cardinal-Stright
“We’re just hoping this will be it, this will be the last and final one,” she said. “This weekend has to be the weekend.”
Many local volunteers have come forward with donations for this weekend’s search – including food, coffee, search/rescue gear, as well as a driver who has offered to check up on the searchers throughout the day and provide them with refreshments or breaks.
“The support’s just been pouring in . . . it’s touching,” said Cardinal-Stright.
Searchers are asked to dress warm and to bring extra clothes with them. As well, cell phones, walking sticks, light snacks, rubber boots and compasses are recommended.
Cardinal-Stright said she simply wants to do what she can to find Chris and bring him home to his friends and family.
“I am determined to find that boy . . . to give that family the peace they deserve.”