‘The dog came back, she didn't’: Family of missing Cape Breton senior speaks out
It was a difficult weekend for Larry Gibbons. He hasn't seen his long-time partner since early Friday.
Gibbons says Susan Bain, 79, took their dog for a walk near their home in Middle River, N.S. He says when he came home from getting groceries in nearby Baddeck, she hadn't returned - but the dog eventually did.
"Our little dog came running by with a broken leash on," says Gibbons. "I was terrified. I knew she took rubber boots. She was just walking in about 11 degrees or so."
Gibbons contacted police. By the evening, a large search team was combing the area around Gold Brook Road.
"We had approximately 70 people on site that Friday night and then, the snow hit,” says Paul Vienneau, search manager for Cape Breton Search and Rescue.
Vienneau says searchers faced snow squalls, reduced visibility and temperatures well below freezing much of the weekend.
Bain’s home isn’t far from a major bridge washout along the Cabot Trail at Gold Brook. The section of highway was severely damaged during the rain and wind storm that lashed Cape Breton and Eastern Mainland Nova Scotia nearly two weeks ago.
"She wanted to go up and see the bridge, where the bridge was out,” says Vienneau. “And the dog came back, she didn't. We can't speculate on what happened."
Gibbons says his partner has severe rheumatoid arthritis and some memory loss.
"Police have told us that the odds are pretty low,” he says. "She was independent, and if she's not around anymore... I think this is probably one of the ways she would think is a good way to go. In the forest. She loved animals, and the forest."
With a rainfall warning issued for the area, RCMP suspended the search for Bain Monday. It's expected to resume Tuesday.