Father of missing Montreal boy urges mayor to set up police abduction squad

The parents of missing 10-year-old Ariel Kouakou, Frederic Kouakou, left, and Akouena Noella Bibie, right, speak during a press conference in Montreal on Thursday, April 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter McCabe

MONTREAL - The father of a boy who has been missing for a month asked Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante and police Thursday to set up a squad that would specialize in investigating abductions.

"Thirty long days, 30 long nights without my son, without any news, without any sign — it's hard," Kouadio Frederic Kouakou told a news conference

He is convinced, however, that his son Jeffrey Ariel will be found.

Kouakou asked Plante to intensify the search for his boy.

"We will go on," he said. "With this energy, right up until the end, and we will win because Ariel will come back. I am convinced."

The 10-year-old disappeared March 12 when he left his house to visit a friend and never returned home.

Police say they believe the boy fell into a river and drowned, while his father insists he was abducted.

Kouakou suggested that Plante and the police look into creating a squad dedicated to finding missing kids.

He said if such a unit existed before his son disappeared, it would have permitted "more prompt actions."

Another person at the news conference was Michel Surprenant, whose 16-year-old daughter Julie disappeared in 1999 and has never been found.

Surprenant says it is important to highlight the one-month anniversary of a disappearance because families are alone and distraught as media attention diminishes.

"That's when things become difficult," he said.

Pina Arcamone, from a missing children's organization, said in her 33 years of experience, news conferences always get results.

"Each time a family makes a media appearance, every time we show a photo of a missing child, the phones begin to ring at the police station," she said.


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