Owen Rooney search moves to Calgary
The family of a missing Australian man, who was last seen in Grand Forks in August, has taken their search to Calgary.
Kelly Rooney, sister of Owen Kiernan Rooney, said that with some reported sightings of her brother in Alberta, the family – mother Sharron, father Steve and other sister Bree – moved their search from B.C. to its neighbouring province.
“We mapped out the sightings reported and where we ourselves had physically been in B.C. with posters etc. and felt we had covered such a wide area, we needed to broaden our search,” Kelly Rooney told the Grand Forks Gazette via email.
“There have been several possible sightings in Alberta from all over the province from Grande Prairie to Lethbridge and many in between, including Red Deer, Lac La Biche, Okotoks and Drumheller.
“We are trying to follow up all information we are given and working with the widespread resources of the RCMP to do so.”
She went on to say that none of the sightings in Alberta have been confirmed but the family has talked to Alberta RCMP, who have agreed to send posters to detachments across the province.
There were reports of sightings of Owen Rooney on Vancouver Island back in December and while the Rooney family did head to the coast to pursue those leads, none of them bore fruit.
“We did not find any credible leads while in Vancouver. The time spent there was valuable for the ease of access to media and a wide audience,” Kelly Rooney said.
“We had a few calls from people who thought they saw Owen on the streets pan handling, the report was an Australian man who proved he was Australian by showing a tattoo on his forearm, however, this does not match the description.”
She said that they were not able to track down that particular man but from the accounts that the family received, they don’t believe he was Owen.
It has been a trying time for the Rooney family as it has been exhausting following up on leads and checking all the hostels and shelters. On top of that, their car has broken down and they’ve had to purchase another, but she said that the public has been very kind and helpful.
“It is hard work and emotionally devastating but we keep going. We will find Owen,” she said.
Rooney, 24, was last seen sitting at a picnic table at the west side of Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks on Aug. 14 at approximately 8 p.m. and left behind his backpack and cellphone – he had been assaulted at Christina Lake and according to RCMP, there was bruising on his face.
According to mother Sharron, Owen had been attending the Shambhala Music Festival in Salmo, B.C. and had taken “magic mushrooms.”
He stands five foot nine, weighs 160 pounds, has short brown hair and has two tattoos, one of a kangaroo in a triangle on his calf and a tribal “O” on his shoulder.
- Family launches complaint against hospital in case of missing man (theglobeandmail.com)