Iqaluit SAR plans new search for 18-year-old Ambar Roy

Volunteer snowmobile searchers asked to meet at 10 a.m., Sunday, March 24

RCMP Staff Sgt. Garfield Elliott stands with searchers on Wednesday, March 20, before they set out to look for Ambar Roy, missing now for more than a week. Searchers hope to go out again on Sunday, March 24, in a second search organized by the Iqaluit Search and Rescue team and police. Volunteers with snowmobiles are asked to go to the Nunavut Wildlife Management office at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, be equipped for the day and dressed appropriately for the weather. (Photo by Jane George)

By Jane George

The search for 18-year-old Ambar Roy, missing now for more than a week, will continue tomorrow morning in an area outside the built-up area of Iqaluit, along the Road to Nowhere.

That’s despite a lack of success last Wednesday after police, Nunavut Emergency Management officers, and more than 60 volunteers searched most of the city and its public buildings.

Searchers now plan to head out on Sunday morning, the RCMP said today.

This time, searchers with Iqaluit Search and Rescue and the police are asking for volunteers on snowmobiles.

Volunteers are asked to meet on Sunday, March 24, at 10 a.m., subject to weather, at the Wildlife Management Office (Building 913) “ready to depart once team and tasks have been assigned,” said Jimmy Noble of the Iqaluit SAR group.

Environment Canada is forecasting a mix of sun and cloud for Sunday morning, with a high of -12 and a wind chill of -28 C in the morning and -18 in the afternoon.

Volunteers must have a snowmobile, be equipped for the day, and dressed appropriately for the weather, Noble said in an mid-afternoon announcement of the new search effort on social media.

This poster asks people to look for Ambar Roy and to provide tips, if they have information that could help locate the teenager, who has been missing since March 13. (Photo by Jane George)

Since last Wednesday, police have received new tips and information about where Roy, a student at the University of Waterloo, might be located.

Police also now say that a photo identified as having been taken on March 14 at the Iqaluit International Airport was actually from March 12.

Police said on Saturday that they “have not been able to view footage of Ambar at the Iqaluit airport on March 14.”

The most recent sighting, now confirmed by police, occurred March 13 when Roy was picked up by an unidentified driver and dropped off on the Road to Nowhere, near the bridge that is under construction there.

Police and Nunavut Emergency Management, or “NEM,” identified an “additional area on the Road to Nowhere” on Friday afternoon, police said.

The NEM was then “requested to complete a thorough search of the Road to Nowhere area” for Roy.

That search ended Friday when the sun set, police said.

Blizzard-like conditions on Saturday, which forced the suspension of all city services by 4 p.m., meant the search was called off.

With the confirmation that the last sighting of Roy was on the Road to Nowhere on March 13, the police also revealed more details about the teenager’s whereabouts between March 11 and March 13.

“We know where he was on the night of the 11th into the 12th and the night of the 12th into 13th,” Staff Sg. Garfield Elliot said.

“We do not have information where he was on the night of the 13th, going into the 14th.”

Elliott confirmed that Roy did go to Iqaluit’s “damp” shelter on the night of March 11—the night before he was scheduled to return south, but ended up missing his flight.

Because Roy is under the age of 19, he was not allowed to stay at the damp shelter and he returned home, Elliott said.

“On the early morning hours of March 13, Ambar returned to the damp shelter but was not allowed (in,)” Elliott said, adding that they know where he spent the night on March 12, but that it does not have “any bearing on his disappearance, therefore was not put in any media release.”

“After Ambar was reported missing, the shelters were being checked nightly just in case, but were negative,” Elliott said.

A door-to-door search of residences is not planned, Elliott said.

“We have no information that Ambar is in anyone’s residence in particular, therefore no authority to search anyone’s home,” he said.

Police have put information into the media releases urging members of the public and the boy to come forward, saying that he is not in any trouble.

Roy’s distraught parents have also put out that message.

Ambar Roy’s parents, Bijoya and Amal, are seen here on Wednesday, March 20, as searchers prepared to set out. (Photo by Jane George)

Elliott said this generally “gains us the information needed to locate and confirm a person is safe. ”

“The door knocks would not gain us any additional information if someone was truly allowing Ambar to stay at their place,” he said.

Police said Roy’s parents continue to be updated by the detachment on everyone’s efforts to locate their son and “are appreciative of the community support.”

The boy’s disappearance continues to worry many in this city of about 8,000: several people have mentioned to Nunatsiaq News that they are concerned about the light clothing that the boy was last seen wearing and said they hoped he had found shelter and was warm.

Roy was last seen wearing jeans, a camouflage sweater, a blue sweater and brown running shoes with a white print, and carrying an olive-coloured backpack.

Roy is described as five feet, seven inches tall, weighing 135 pounds, with a slim build. He has black hair and brown eyes and is South Asian.

Anyone with any information that could help located Ambar Roy is asked to contact the Iqaluit RCMP Detachment at (867) 979-0123 or, in the event of urgent information, the Nunavut RCMP Dispatch Centre at (867) 979-1111.

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