Over a month after his disappearance, the search for Earl Moberg has turned into a recovery operation.
His family is now looking for closure with daily search efforts no longer taking place.
Moberg, 81, was last seen in the River East area in Winnipeg on Dec. 12, 2023. A silver alert was activated by Winnipeg police following his disappearance. His family said he had lived with dementia for several years.
His wife, Brenda Moberg, said her husband would normally leave the house but always turned up or was found.
“I came home from teaching a class and I couldn’t find him at home at all. My son was here. He couldn’t find him, so he went walking around while I drove the car around, thinking he would be close by,” Brenda said. “I kept driving, he kept walking and we couldn’t find him. Eventually, we had to call the police.”
She said she called her daughter, Britt Moberg, who lived in British Columbia and who said it was a distressing moment for her knowing her dad was missing and she couldn’t do much about it.
“It felt really helpless to be provinces over and not being able to actually go out and search myself,” Britt said, adding that she caught a flight to Winnipeg on Dec. 14.
Britt said she and the family got connected with the Bear Clan Patrol, including when her uncle went out to search in Bunn’s Creek Centennial Park. The patrol had since been working with the family to search for Moberg.
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Executive director Kevin Walker said a search team was organized early on and that two large searches were conducted in areas where Moberg may have gone to or visited.
But public searches organized by the patrol, he said, will no longer take place unless the family wants to continue again.
“It’s always a tough situation to never have closure at this time. I just want to say that we’ll be there for the family if they decide that they want to continue searching. We’d gladly get together again with the family and continue,” Walker said.
Britt said she came to Winnipeg hoping to find her dad alive, but doesn’t know if that will happen anymore. All she wants now is closure.
“It’s really hard to think about leaving here and going back…. (I) hope we can have some sense of peace and closure,” Britt said. “My dad’s like my best friend. He’s such a loving person. And I’m sure he would be proud … that we’re making this effort. I hope that something positive can come out of this situation and that we can help other people and keep people safe.”
She said she’s going back home to B.C. and will wait for a phone call saying her dad has been found.
She said she’s also looking to support individuals with dementia and their families, to ensure that what happened to her dad doesn’t happen to other people.
— with files from Global’s Iris Dyck.
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