PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
Barrington Leigh Family
New Developments in the Search for Robert Barrington Leigh
August 20, 2006
Family and friends of Robert Barrington Leigh have posted a $5,000 reward to be paid for information leading to Robert. Seven days since his disappearance, there is still no sign of the 20 year-old University of Toronto student who was last seen departing from his parents' home in the Old Strathcona neighborhood of Edmonton.
"I fervently hope that somebody knows something about where Robert is", said Iris Barrington Leigh, Robert's mother, who saw Robert off when he left his home at 10:30pm on Sunday, August 13th, to check out the Edmonton Folk Festival.
"The outpouring of public concern we've had so far has been astonishing," said Robert's brother, Christopher Barrington Leigh. "After a week with no clues, we just want to put some pressure on people who know something but haven't come forward yet."
Robert's last known communication was a text message to his girlfriend that was picked up by a cell phone tower near Queen Elisabeth Park at 11:34pm on the night that he disappeared. Family and friends are concentrating attention on this region in hopes of finding people who might have seen Robert or know something about what was happening in the area that night.
"There was nothing weird about his message," said Lucy, Robert's girlfriend who flew in from Italy earlier this week to help with the search. "I didn't have any reason to expect that he wouldn't call me the next morning, as we had previously arranged."
Hundreds of volunteers are continuing to perform ground searches in the North Sascatchewan River Valley and Mill Creek Ravine. The police have asked family and volunteers to continue ground search efforts, while their detectives focus on other aspects of the investigation.
"Giving our office over for the volunteer headquarters is the least we can do," said Tom Booth, owner of Specialty Installations in Edmonton. From this office over ten thousand flyers have been distributed and thousands of man hours of ground searches have been coordinated over the last seven days. "All we hope for is the safe return of Robert. I'm a dad, too." The volunteer headquarters is expanding into bigger offices on Monday.
Robert's story has generated concern around the world. Friends in Toronto and Vancouver and in the math community worldwide are spreading the word through flyering campaigns, electronic networks and donation campaigns.
Robert, age 20, is known to be an exceptional student in the Mathematics Department at the University of Toronto. He has won top awards in several international mathematics, physics and computer programming competitions.
"We expect him to go on to graduate studies at one of the world's top universities, and to have a brilliant career", says one of Robert's math professors, Dr. Edward Bierstone.
---Robert Barrington Leigh still missing---
"His disappearance is highly uncharacteristic of Robert", says Dr. Bierstone.
Robert was last seen leaving his parents' house on bike from Old Strathcona at 10:30pm, probably through the Mill Creek Ravine, on his way to the Edmonton Folk Festival just west of Cloverdale Park. He was wearing blue jeans, a button-down shirt, brown leather shoes and a blue helmet. Robert was riding a blue Raleigh Cliffhanger bike and carrying a blue Mountain Equipment Coop backpack with purple trim. Photos and detailed descriptions are available online.
The family is asking the public to
watch the website <www.findrobert.ca>,
as it is being regularly updated with new information and ways to
volunteer and contribute to the campaign.
Details regarding reward eligibility will follow later this week. The award will be issued on the sole discretion of the Barrington Leigh family or its nominee.
For more information, see www.findrobert.ca
Barrington Leigh Family
Phone: (780) 439-1433
Fax: (780) 439-1155