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Family concerned for father missing for four days

By Tara Clow May 4, 2023 | 1:40 PM

A desperate plea from a Miramichi family in the hunt for their 76-year-old father.

Brian Ahern was last seen wandering into the woods on Saturday afternoon near Highway 126 in the Nelson area.

His son Cory says he’s familiar with the area around his home, but he suffers from Alzheimer’s.

“He went missing Saturday. He was just seen going into a trail in the woods that would lead to our house. He was just visiting some neighbours. He just never came back out of the woods, we haven’t seen him since. It’s probably about a five-minute walk through the woods. It’s not very far actually. But there is a crossroads at one point. It turns left to come home, right to go back to the highway where he would have been, or we think he just went straight into the woods and just kept going and got disoriented or something and just hasn’t been able to find his way back. We’ve lived here our whole lives, he knows the area pretty good so we would never be worried about him in the woods, but he is 76 and has Alzheimer’s as well,” Cory says.

There has been an outpouring of support for the family. Cory says hundreds of volunteers have been searching since Saturday.

He adds they have been overwhelmed with donations of food and other items.

“A lot of the churches have donated food, businesses around town and things like that have come as well. We’ve had neighbours and everyone is dropping by bringing water and Gatorade and sandwiches. It has just been amazing. My heart is broken. And to see all this happening kind of filled up my heart just a little bit,” Cory adds.

Cory says his mom is doing as good as she can be, but the hunt has been frustrating because they haven’t turned up anything in the search for his father.

“We thought we found a footprint the first night. We’ve searched pretty much everywhere that we think he could be at this point, but we’ve just come up with nothing. We haven’t found a hat, his glasses a sneaker or anything,” Cory stated.

Miramichi Police put out a missing persons report on April 30th, with a photo and description.

Brian Robert Ahearn who was last seen in Nelson at 3 pm on Saturday, April 29th.

Brian is described as around 6’0, about 180 pounds, and was wearing green pants, a green “wind river” sweatshirt, a camouflage ball cap, black/grey sneakers, and glasses.

Cory adds officers and Ground Search and Rescue members were very quick to respond on Sunday, and began searching the area, but stopped once it got dark. He claims they returned on Monday morning and set up a command centre at his parent’s house, “It was raining really hard on Monday and they stopped at around supper time because they were tired and wet. Police officers came to see us and they said they couldn’t get enough volunteers and wouldn’t be back to search until Saturday.”

We have sent an email out to Miramichi Police for an update but have yet to receive a response.


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