Missing Australian man seen years after he went missing
THE remains of an Australian man who went missing in Canada in unusual circumstances seven years ago have finally been found.
Owen Rooney, 24, from Ulludulla on the New South Wales south coast, disappeared in August in 2010 from Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks, British Columbia, leaving his backpack and wallet behind.
His family spent months after his disappearance looking for him throughout West Canada.
They had opened a Facebook page to help their search and had held out hope he was alive.
But his mother Sharron has confirmed the family's worst fears.
"We were notified a few weeks ago that human remains were found at Hardy Mountain BC... 3km from the hospital that Owen went missing from," she wrote on Facebook.
"We have come together as a family to receive the news via a phone appointment, the DNA results have confirmed it is our Owen. Emotionally digesting this news is a challenge.
"We take solace in the fact that we can bring him home to us. Our resolution has been given. Many people have loved and shared Owen's short and funfilled life. He is well loved.
"We have no further information till we hear from the coroner."
CBC reported the British Columbia Coroners Service had confirmed the news.
The remains were found on June 10 by members of the Grand Forks Search and Rescue Unit who were on a training exercise.
Hardy Mountain is about 3km from Boundary Hospital. The coroner is continuing to investigate the cause of Rooney's death.
Rooney, an electrician by trade, was partying at a five-day festival in rural British Columbia, the Shambhala electronic music festival in Salmo, near Nelson, when he had an adverse reaction to "magic mushrooms", friends said at the time.
He became paranoid and unsettled. He was due to return home to Australia after the festival but that never happened.
He spent time in a harm reduction tent at the festival before wandering the southern interior of British Columbia for days.
After the festival he missed his ride back to Kelowna, a skiing town where he had been living and was working during the off-season.
According to reports Rooney tried to hitchhike his way back but was assaulted after allegedly walking up to a random house in Christina Lake, convinced that his ex-girlfriend who he had been trying to call on his mobile phone was inside.
She lived 800km away in Edmonton, Alberta.
Rooney was picked up by police and admitted to the Boundary Hospital where he was treated for a head injury he sustained in the assault.
He was last spotted at a picnic table outside the hospital on August 14. His mother thanked those who had helped in trying to find her son.
"We are so grateful to everyone here for your positive love and support," she wrote
"This has given us the ability to continue our connection, perseverance and strength till this day.
"We thank the Grand Forks Search and Rescue for their bravery and diligence in bringing Owen home to us.
For all those with missing family members, may you find peace in your hearts .. ambiguity is not easy and we send you much love. A very grateful Rooney Family xo"