Dad of missing Laval boy plans volunteer search
Family in agony after police turn up no sign of young Adam
CBC News Posted: Apr 8, 2011 10:19 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 8, 2011 11:29 AM ET Read 48
Bouazza Benhamama is asking the public to search the area around the Mille-Îles River on Saturday for his missing son, Adam. (CBC)
The father of an autistic Laval, Que., boy who is presumed drowned is calling on the public to help find his son.
Bouazza Benhamama is asking people to search the shores and forests along the Mille-Îles River on Saturday for any sign of his three-year-old son, Adam, who hasn’t been seen since Sunday.
Police believe Adam fell into the frigid waters of the river, which runs just metres behind a home the family was visiting on Pointe aux Ormes Street in Laval’s Auteuil neighbourhood.
Police ended their search Wednesday after spending three days combing the water, shoreline and nearby forest.
‘We are living on the hope that he will be found.’
— Bouazza Benhamama, father of Adam
In his first interview since his son disappeared, Bouazza Benhamama told CBC News the family will not give up trying to find him, even if he has died.
“It’s agony at our home,” said Benhamama, a father of three. “My wife, she cannot sleep, she cannot eat. Her life has been overturned. I do not know how she can continue. I do not know.”
He struggled to explain his own feelings.
Adam Benhamama disappeared from a Laval, Que., neighbourhood on Sunday afternoon. Laval police
On Sunday, he and two of his children travelled from their home in Montreal’s Anjou neighbourhood to visit a family friend, Benhamama said. His wife had stayed at home with their youngest child.
The father said his seven-year-old daughter and Adam were playing outside, running in circles around a parked van.
Benhamama stepped inside the house, and minutes later, his daughter alerted him that something was wrong, he said.
“She signalled with her hand, ‘Daddy. Adam, I can’t find him,’” he recalled.
Benhamama said he checked the river immediately and saw nothing. That’s when the family called police.
Adam was recently diagnosed with a mild form of autism and had difficulty hearing and speaking.
Police hand out 1,000 flyers
His father is still hopeful the boy will turn up, even though police say there is little chance he will be found alive.
“There is still hope,” Benhamama said. “It is our child. We are living on the hope that he will be found.”
Police in Laval spent Thursday distributing missing persons flyers to homes along both sides of the river.
About 1,000 flyers have been handed out so far.
Adam is two feet tall and weighs 25 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black and purple tuque, a black jacket, jeans and blue and orange sneakers.read more