Dec 18, 2016 Missing Arnprior boy’s cold case may have new clues
By Derek Dunn
A CBC podcast dedicated to finding an Arnprior boy missing for four decades may have recovered a tooth and another possible clue.
Someone Knows Something (SKS) finished season one in May but continued to search for Adrien McNaughton, the five-year-old who disappeared without a trace from Holmes Lake, near Calabogie, in 1972. He was on a fishing trip with family members and friends.
David Ridgen is the international award-winning filmmaker leading the SKS team. He grew up in Arnprior at about the same time as Adrien; heard the stories and rumours; and has an emotional stake in this case perhaps as great as any missing person’s case he has taken on.
The podcast itself was wildly successful, leading all podcasts across Canada for several weeks. Hearing the interviews with members of the McNaughton family, locals close to the case, law enforcement, and others, made for compelling audio week after week.
But the show ended without any clear resolution. No one, it seems, knows for sure what happened to the shy, flaxen-haired little boy - until an update was recently provided at the website cbc.ca/radio/sks.
“A second search dive was conducted shortly after season one ended,” reads the website. “This dive was more time-efficient than the first, as master diver Mike Grebler and his team had a better idea of some of the difficulties they'd face — including a remote location, poor visibility and deep mud — and how to deal with them.”
Using screens made out of PVC pipe and wire mesh to manually sift through the muck, divers and two volunteers discovered a small piece of rubber.
“It was the type of rubber that you might find around the edge or toe of a small shoe.
Police brought the rubber to the McNaughton’s. They vowed to follow the lead.
Police then conducted a dog search at Holmes Lake. Another search was done with three other dogs.
Dangerous fallen trees were removed and divers did yet another search, this one even more thorough.
It involved pumping sediment onto shore where it could be more easily sifted through by volunteers. It was the best search method found to date, and it yielded some intriguing results.
“About halfway through the day, the search team on shore identified a small hard object, slightly tapered, shiny with white and yellow gradations,” reads the website. “Could it be a tooth?”
It was discovered in eight feet of water, about 20 feet from shore, near the location where the dogs indicated.
This object, and others deemed to have potential for further study, were placed in plastic bags.
“The SKS team is currently in the process of finding the right forensic dentist to determine whether the small white-ish object is, in fact, a tooth.”
Season two of Ridgen’s show investigates the disappearance of Sheryl Sheppard of Hamilton.