The Saskatchewan RCMP provided more information about an Amber Alert sent out Monday evening in a news conference in Regina on Tuesday.
The amber alert was issued at around 7:20 p.m. on Monday asking the public to be on the lookout for seven-year-old Luna Potts and eight-year-old Hunter Potts. The RCMP have made their photos available on the SaskAlert website at saskalert.ca and on the Saskatchewan RCMP’s website.
“The children are believed to be with their mother, 45-year-old Leah Potts, and her common-law partner, 50-year-old Benjamin Martin Moore of Eastend, Saskatchewan. His image has also been made available,” Chief Superintendent Tyler Bates, Officer in Charge of the Saskatchewan RCMP’s South District Management Team said in a release
“We believe that Luna and Hunter are in danger in the presence of Benjamin Moore and we want to locate them as quickly as possible to ensure they are brought to safety,” he added.
Bates could not get into the specifics of the investigation as it is ongoing and in the early stages.
“I can confirm that evidence was discovered, when the Shaunavon RCMP were asked to assist the Ministry of Social Services, with an investigation relating to allegations surrounding Benjamin Moore. Before police were able to question him, Benjamin, Leah and the children, had vacated their residence in Eastend,” Bates said.
That led the Ministry to seek an apprehension order for the children which in turn, led to the RCMP issuing the Amber Alert.
“Benjamin Moore has a history of sexual offences against children, vulnerable persons and has previously been convicted of sexual interference and possession of child pornography,” Bates said.
On Tuesday Saskatchewan RCMP investigators charged Moore with failing to report information to a registration center within seven days after a change of main or secondary residence. The report is mandatory under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act. A warrant has also been issued for the arrest of Benjamin Martin Moore.
“So far, we have received a number of tips,” Bates said. “Our Provincial General Investigation Teams have taken carriage of this investigation and are following up on all information received. These investigative teams have experience in dealing with these types of incidents and will be supported by our Major Crime Units, should the need arise.”
He explained that following the Amber Alert, one individual reported an incident involving Moore to police.
“It’s possible there are others who have not yet come forward,” Bates said. “We are encouraging anyone else who may have been a victim of Benjamin Moore to file a report with police. We take these matters very seriously and want to ensure that survivors feel supported.”
They are asking the public to be on the lookout for 50-year-old Benjamin Martin Moore. Moore is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, 200 lbs, with black hair. Police are aware that Benjamin goes by a number of alternate names, including: Benjamin Moore, Hawk Smith, and Ben Scutchings.
“At this time, we are working to extend the Amber Alert into South Dakota as evidence suggests that’s where the four currently are. They have ties to Saskatchewan and Western Canada, so we want people in these areas to remain alert and report any sightings or information they may have,” Bates said.
Bates said the group are likely travelling in a 2015 dark blue Chevy Equinox, Alberta plate CGC 2492.
If anyone sees Luna, Hunter, or Leah Potts, Benjamin Martin Moore or the Chevy Equinox, or have information regarding their whereabouts, please call 911 immediately or 1-877-SOAMBER (that is, 1-877-762-6237) in Canada. Anyone in the United States can report information to 911 or by calling 1-306-780-5563.
“We want to take this opportunity to thank our American law enforcement partners for assisting us with this ongoing investigation. We are committed to providing updates as they become available,” Bates said.
“This investigation is the Saskatchewan RCMP’s top priority. We are working diligently to ensure Luna and Hunter Potts, and their mother Leah, are located safe,” he added.
Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald