A 14-year-old girl from We’koqma’q First Nation in Nova Scotia who was missing for more than a week has been found safe.
According to a news release, RCMP Air Services reported a fire in an isolated location in the Canoe Lake area near Gabarus, N.S. at approximately 11:30 p.m. Friday. Officers on the ground made their way to the area where they found the missing teen and the man believed to be with her at 1 a.m. Saturday.
According to police, the pair were taken into custody without incident and taken out of the area. The teen was later released but the man remains in custody while the police continue their investigation.
Mary (Molly) Martin was first reported as missing on Aug. 14 after she was last seen in Eskasoni First Nation the previous day. At the time, the RCMP believed she was camping with an adult male.
RCMP later identified the man Martin was with as 47-year-old Darcy Doyle from Mira Gut, N.S.
Police narrowed the search to Canoe Lake Road area
Martin and Doyle were identified on video surveillance at a service station in the Sydney-Louisburg area on Aug. 13-14. Police followed up on reports the pair were spotted on an all-terrain vehicle in the Forchu area.
On Wednesday, the RCMP began working with the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry to conduct aerial searches by helicopter. The Cape Breton Regional Police also joined the search with its dog service unit.
On Thursday, police began narrowing their search for Martin and Doyle to the Canoe Lake area near Gabarus where they believed the pair was driving a green coloured ATV. Police located evidence of Martin and Doyle in the area which included a campsite and the ATV.
The search for Martin and Doyle continued throughout the day on Friday. A helicopter continued to circle the Canoe Lake Road area and two canine units with Cape Breton Regional Police were also at the search site. Police believed the two were travelling by foot in the wooded area.
Missing teen’s older brother, sister also searched for her
A small group of community members from We’koqma’q, including Martin’s family members, gathered at the entrance to Canoe Lake Road on Friday waiting for updates on the search for the Mi’kmaw teen.
Before Martin was found, her older sister and brother made a public plea for the teen’s safe return.
“Please come home, Molly,” David Martin, 17, said on Friday.
“Molly, please come home. We love you so much,” Nicole Martin, 18, added.
Nicole Martin said that she, her brother and her boyfriend have been searching for Molly since she went missing on Aug. 13. According to Martin, the teen was placed in a foster care home in nearby Eskasoni First Nation the same day she disappeared.
Nicole Martin said she was grateful for the community members who arrived at the search site to support her and her brother.
“I feel great about it, actually. I didn’t think this many people would come out and support us, Nicole Martin said. “I’m so thankful for our councillors and our community members that came out and helped us,” she added.
A We’koqma’q band councillor confirmed the chief and council were offering $5,000 reward for any information that led to the teen’s safe return. The same councillor also confirmed that Doyle had been banned from the First Nation community for “inappropriate behaviour.”