KASONI, N.S.—An Indigenous girl missing for more than a week has been found safe with the man she was traveling with after police located the pair in an isolated part of Nova Scotia, police said Saturday.
The 14-year-old girl, a member of We’koqma’q Mi’kmaq First Nation, was last seen at a gas station in Eskasoni around 4 p.m. on Aug. 13. She had earlier gone missing from her foster home and was believed to be traveling with 47-year-old Darcy Doyle.
The force said their air services unit spotted a fire in an isolated location in Canoe Lake in Cape Breton around 11:30 p.m. Friday.
“RCMP officers on the ground made their way to this area and at 1 a.m. they located the missing girl and the man she was believed to be with,” the RCMP said in a statement.
The force said the pair was taken into custody and the girl later released. The investigation is ongoing.
Police said Thursday they received new information that the girl and Doyle were spotted near Canoe Lake on a green ATV on Wednesday night.
The RCMP has been heavily criticized for issuing a localized alert for her a week after she disappeared.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada said police did not act with enough urgency to find the girl.
The association said the girl appeared to be in danger. We’koqma’q First Nation councillors expelled Doyle from the community, the association said, because he posed a threat to safety and security.
Thousands signed a petition to have the RCMP issue an Amber Alert, but a spokeswoman said earlier this week the case did not meet the threshold because they did not believe she was abducted.
The We’koqma’q Chief and Council had offered a $5,000 reward in an effort to spur information that led to the girl’s whereabouts.