NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, February 11, 2016, 8:35 PM
A mentally disabled Canadian man who went missing in 1986 and hurt his head was found after he recalled his lost identity, reports revealed Thursday.
Edgar Latulip vanished from his family’s Kitchener, Ontario home when he was 21 years old, possibly taking a bus to the nearby Niagara Falls area, according to the North American Missing Persons Network. He was discovered three decades later in the Canadian border town of St. Catherines.
“I had hopes that he was out there somewhere,” Waterloo Regional Police Detective Constable Duane Gingerich told the Waterloo Region Record. “For us as investigators, this is great, this is awesome. It’s satisfying because most of these cases don’t turn out this way. You expect the worst when a person is missing for that period of time.”
Latulip’s mom told the local newspaper in a 2014 feature she thought he may have committed suicide and said she had given up hope of ever seeing him again. Yet DNA tests confirmed a 50-year-old man in a group home who said he’s Latulip is indeed the long-missing man.
“What had occurred was a head injury, shortly after arriving in St. Catherines a number of years ago. And so, effectively, he forgot who he was,” Gingerich told CTV News.
Latulip, whose developmental delays give him the mental capacity of a 12-year-old, started remembering his identity in sessions with a social worker last month. Police hadn’t found a trace of Latulip since a reported sighting in the town of Hamilton between Kitchener and St. Catherines in 1993.
“Pieces of his memory started coming back. Then the social worker found something on the Internet that led them to believe this was something more,” Constable Philip Gavin of the Niagara Regional Police told the Record,
Lusia Dion of Ontario’s Missing Adults wrote in a Facebook post that the story is “nothing short of amazing.”
Latulip’s case reinforces that “locating the missing is more likely when we recognize that everyone can help in the search for the missing,” she said.
Waterloo Regional Police Detective Constable Duane Gingerich shared the story of the shocking discovery of the missing man with CTV News.
“It can mean sitting with a friend who is dealing with a missing loved one to show your support. It may mean passing along a resource guidebook that you found online. (Respectful) conversations about the missing can lead to an amazing number of eyes helping in the search.”
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