Search for Frank Gruben continues with fresh volunteer plea

Volunteers are set to spend Friday continuing a search of the Fort Smith area for missing 30-year-old Frank Gruben, who was reportedly last seen in the town a week ago.

Gruben was the subject of an RCMP appeal for help on Wednesday. Since then, members of the public have combed areas of a community in a bid to find him.

Larissa Emmons, who has been helping to coordinate civilian search efforts in the town, said a helicopter joined the search on Thursday to check areas of the Slave River and its banks, while residents on foot have been searching treed areas of Fort Smith.


“We could use all the volunteers we could get today,” Emmons said early on Friday morning, with an extensive search planned of more wooded areas near the river and surrounding the town.

“It’s been exhausting for our volunteers that were out yesterday searching,” she said. “The more people we have, the better we can search these areas and the more ground we can cover.”

Members of Gruben’s family are expected to arrive in Fort Smith from Aklavik on Friday evening.

“It would be great if we had something more to tell them, a more tangible lead, anything that is closer to finding him,” Emmons said.

Anyone able to volunteer with Friday’s search effort is asked to attend the culture room of the Salt River First Nation’s building in Fort Smith.


Emmons said the search would continue at 9am “but volunteers can arrive any time, and we will find them a group to join if they arrive alone.”

Drivers are also needed to help people move around town and deliver water to searchers.

“It’s going to be a very warm day here in Fort Smith,” said Emmons, referring to this week’s extraordinarily warm May weather. “We want to get out there and get as much of the harder areas done as possible before the heat really hits today.”

RCMP have asked that anyone with information about Gruben’s whereabouts call the Fort Smith detachment at 867-872-1111 or leave a message via Crime Stoppers.