Missing persons with local connections

Brandon Man Missing

 There is a massive search for a missing Brandon man who was hiking in Germany. Jeff Freiheit, 32, posted a photo to Facebook from Bad Tolz, Germany on August 2. A Facetime call with him on that date was the last time his wife Selena Freiheit, spoke with him before he went missing. Selena’s mother Brenda Empey is originally from Reston, Dorothy Jago’s daughter. It’s a small world as Jeff Freiheit was a substitute teacher in Reston and once lived down the street in Dauphin from Reston School principal, Dan Kristof. “Jeff probably only did a few days at Reston School since he was driving out from Brandon. His energy and excitement left a lasting impression on our students as his name always came up as someone they enjoyed,” explained Dan Kristof. “We know Jeff well enough. Jeff’s family lived about a half a block away from us in Dauphin. His mother Kathy was a school board member and he was a former student of my wife’s and took park in her yearly drama productions. Every year, he would always stop by to see our family. Honestly we couldn’t believe this happened to someone that we knew.”

article continues below

  Selena and Jeff’s mother have flown to Germany to be closer to the exhaustive search. German police officers and search and rescue crews have scoured the roughly five kilometre wide ridge of rugged hiking trail located just north of the Austrian border searching for Jeff. “The alpine search and rescue in the area have had dogs out. They’re using drones. They’ve got up to 60 different people walking the trek with GPS, tractors, helicopters, para-gliders,” said Selena Freiheit.  He was reportedly last seen at a grocery store in the German community of Jachenau on August 3 and failed to show up at subsequent accommodations he’d booked along the trail. According to a local news report, searchers are focusing their efforts on a section of trail between the municipalities of Jachenau and Voderiss. That section, where Freiheit is believed to have gone missing, is the most treacherous of the entire trail, with gullies, deep treches and rocky overhangs. There has been no signal from her husband’s cellphone and he did not have a GPS device with him. He’d been training to do the trail for months, was in good health, and was very physically fit.

Selena and Jeff have been married for two years and together for nine. They taught overseas in Kuwait and travelled to over 30 countries. Selena said being in contact with police and having his mother at her side has helped her cope. She’s also leading a social media campaign to spread the word and raise money for possible extra search costs.

Still Missing: Bring Ruby Home

 Lee-Ann Chicoine of Storthoaks, Saskatchewan area is focused on bringing her mom home after she disappeared in Carlyle, Saskatchewan two months ago. Carlyle RCMP said on June 18 around 9:30 a.m., 64-year-old Ruby Barnes was at a credit union in Carlyle. She hasn’t been seen since.

 “At first you’re frantic and desperate in trying to locate her and now it’s more that you need help and assistance in all aspects,” said Chicoine.

 She’s turned to Facebook to get her mom’s story out into the public eye in hopes that someone finds her.

Her family created a page called “Bring Ruby Home” where they post updates and descriptions of Barnes.

 They’ve also sent out a number of stickers to put on vehicles and campers. The stickers were made by Angie Cliffe from Cliffhanger Designs who gave them out free of charge.

 She said Barnes was on medication for anxiety and depression as well as a thyroid problem, which doctors took her off of shortly before she went missing.

 Chicoine said her mom wasn’t feeling well at the time, which might contribute to her disappearance.

 “At first we thought maybe she could have drove off on her own because she was having some anxiety and her nerves were getting bad, but at this point, we’re not sure.”

 She said RCMP haven’t had any solid progress so far. Many people have called in saying they think they might have seen her, but it’s been found it wasn’t the right woman.

 Barnes is described as Caucasian, 5’5″tall with grey hair and was last seen wearing a black and white shirt with black pants.

 She may be driving a 2013 white Ford Escape with the Saskatchewan license plate 969 KPI.

 Anyone with information is encouraged to phone Carlyle RCMP at 306-453-6707 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

New Search: Rosthern, Sask Man Missing

  Search has intensified for a 77-year-old man from Rosthern, Saskatchewan who went missing on August 17. He walked away from his home and has a medical condition. Please contact RCMP if you have any information.


© Reston Recorder