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Updated: Sat, 12 Jul 2014 14:10:11 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Nathan O'Brien Amber Alert: Search teams return to Liknes home



Nathan O'Brien, centre, and his grandparents, Kathy and Alvin Liknes, have not been seen since Nathan's mom left the Liknes' home the night of June 29, 2014. Calgary Police Service

Nathan O'Brien, centre, and his grandparents, Kathy and Alvin Liknes, have not been seen since Nathan's mom left the Liknes' home the night of June 29, 2014. Calgary Police Service

Search teams are returning to the home of Kathy and Alvin Liknes Saturday for another sweep of the property, close to two weeks after the couple and their grandson Nathan O'Brien were discovered missing in Calgary.

On June 29, Nathan O'Brien's mother left him at his grandparents' home in the southwest Calgary community of Parkhill for a sleepover. The Likneses had held an estate sale over the weekend and the O'Brien family had been over to help out. When Nathan's mother arrived to pick him up on June 30, the three were missing and police say they found evidence that a violent incident had taken place inside the home.

In addition to searching the Liknes property again, officers will also be returning to the Airdrie acreage, north of Calgary, which has been the subject of an enormous search effort since last Friday.

They will be searching several surrounding acreages as part of the continued effort to find clues into the two-week-old mystery, and are asking rural property owners and businesses to do a thorough search of their properties.

More officers will also return to the Spyhill Landfill in Calgary to sift through material there.

Person of interest gets bail

While no suspect has been named in the investigation yet, police have questioned a "person of interest" who was taken by police on July 4 from the Airdrie acreage, which belongs to his parents.

Douglas Garland, 54, was subsequently released from questioning in regards to the Nathan O'Brien disappearance but was charged on an unrelated count of identity theft and unlawfully possessing a bank card.

Garland was granted bail on that charge on Friday, which was set at $750, and he must report three times a week to a supervisor and once a week to police while out on bail.

He must also live in transitional housing and can't return to his parents' acreage while it is under police investigation.

Garland does have a criminal history, which includes drug trafficking and possession of stolen property after he was caught making amphetamines on his parents' acreage in 1992.

The then-33-year-old Garland fled those charges and a document from the Tax Court of Canada indicates he was later discovered living under the stolen identity of a dead 14-year-old Alberta boy in Vancouver.

He returned to Calgary after being discovered and pleaded guilty to several of the charges in connection to the drug bust and stolen identity, while others were dropped.

The new charge facing Garland now specifically relates to the recent use of the same identity.

Family connection between Garland, Likneses

CBC News has also learned that Garland has several connections with the Liknes family.

His sister is in a common-law relationship with Alvin Liknes's son and investigators have also been looking into the business relationship between Garland and Liknes.

Sources say a business deal between the two went sour, leading to "bad blood," and Calgary police are investigating a patent dispute as part of their probe into the case.

Winter Petroleum, a junior gas company owned by Liknes, went bankrupt near the end of June — just days before the family went missing. 

Liknes had registered a patent for an apparatus that separates gas from water.

"There are some business issues that we are looking into," said Calgary Police Service spokesman Kevin Brookwell on Thursday. "I can't get into specifics about what these are and who was involved, what they look like or how many people were involved. But yes, we have got a number of people who are looking into that."

Court records also show that both Alvin and Kathy Liknes have declared bankruptcy in the past — Alvin in 1994 and Kathy just two years ago.

According to records, Liknes was involved in several civil lawsuits in the 1980s and early '90s. He was the defendant in two cases four years ago.

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