(Kimberley) RCMP are continuing an intense search for possible kid-nappers of Philip Porter who disappeared from his home 19 days ago.
Some slim leads were found over the weekend and every effort is being made to track them down. So far there has been no follow-up contact after Mrs. R.M. Porter received a telephone call the day of her son's disappearance demanding ransom of $100,000. Sgt. Bodneruk said the suspicion of foul play perpetrated by area residents "has been exhaustfully investigated, but has turned up nothing". "We are now convinced that if the boy met with foul play it was an outside job," said the police officer.
A report that persons were holding the boy in the Cranbrook area was tracked down and was found to be based on idle talk, said the Sergeant. A $5000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of his son has been offered by the father, R.M. Porter.
Contacted this morning RCMP said that nothing has come from the reported sighting of the lost youth in Chilliwack, and no new leads have been received.
Although all details of the extortion attempt were not available it appears, the Porter's were contacted through the mail to produce $100,000. The arrest was made Saturday at 10 p.m. as the accused entered an old shed near Marysville.
Earlier in the same day two Saskatchewan tourists who arrived in the stakeout area to relieve a call of nature were arrested by the hidden R.C.M.P officers.
After hours of cross examination they were released to continue their holiday.
At press time today no new clues into the disappearance of Philip Porter had been discovered.
KIMBERLEY -A Kimberley man, Earl Kitchener Bennett, appeared in District Court here this morning to be sentenced on a charge of extortion. He had been remanded for sentencing after pleading guilty to the offense on Sept. 25.
District Judge E.H. McDonald of Kamloops, before passing sentence, reviewed the case which involved the R. Porter family, also of Kimberley.
Bennett attempted to extort $100,000 from the Porter family for the safe return of their son Philip, who went missing from his home early this summer, "I am convinced that there was careful planning premeditadon at the time of this act," Judge McDonald told the full court room. "All three notes contained a threat which would add to the horrible mental anguish the parents were suffering", related the Judge. "The accused has been asked why he did this, the answer has been because he needed the money, he wanted the money for his family!" "There is no evidence that this man was mentally ill or does suffer from any disease of the mind" the judge said.
"I am however, satisfied that this man does have an alcohol problem and other related problems". "I have been impressed with the character witnesses provided by the defence, particularly the young people". Defence Council has presented a very well prepared case on behalf of the accused, and I have also taken into consideration that the accused has had no previous criminal record," the judge concluded.
With the summation completed, Judge McDonald asked the accused to stand, and sentenced him to three years at the B.C. Penitentiary, Maximum penalty for the offense is 14 years.
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