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Mom and son part of trio missing after southern Alberta rafting trip

Police in southern Alberta are searching for three people who went missing during a rafting trip.

The Lethbridge Police Service says 38-year-old Sheena Empringham, her three-year-old son Atreyu and her boyfriend, whose identity isn’t known, were reported missing on Aug. 28 by a family member.

The family member said the trio had set out on a raft to look for ammonite.

Empringham sent a text on Aug. 27 saying they were running out of food and water.

“She asked the family member to come and pick them up ‘south of Lethbridge’ but wasn’t sure what river they had been on or where exactly they were,” police said in a Tuesday news release.

On Aug. 28, family received a text message from Empringham saying her phone was about to die, but that she would charge it and call them back at 3 p.m.

She has not been heard from since.

“At this time police do not know what date the trio started their excursion, the point where they entered the water or what river they were actually on,” said a news release.

“Based on the availability of ammonite and likely locations where it is found, police have concentrated their search efforts south of the city along the Oldman River.”

Police believe the group was dropped off at their starting point by a friend, but so far the friend has not been identified.


Police believe the boat the trio was using got to St. Mary River before it would have been too shallow to go any further.

A drone search of the area south of Lethbridge, plus campgrounds in the area, has not turned up any trace of the missing people.

There is no evidence that they are in Lethbridge and a search of Sheena and Atreyu’s last known address in Stavely, Alta., was checked without success. 

Lethbridge police are asking anyone with information about where the group launched their raft, when they were last seen or where they could be to call 403-328-4444.

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