The mother of a missing man who walked away from a Saanich group home over a year ago is asking the public to watch for traces of his belongings when hiking in surrounding forests.
Sean Hart, then 34, was last seen at the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility on Nov. 6, 2020. His mother, Penny Hart, told Black Press Media she will not give up until he is found.
“I’m pleading to the bikers, the hikers and the mountain climbers to keep their eyes open for something, anything, because he had his bank card, his bus pass, and his ID with him in a wallet,” she said.
Hart’s bank card has not been used since he went missing, and if it were, police will be notified.
Sean Hart suffers from schizoaffective disorder and has been known to disappear for extended periods of time, often retreating into the woods and away from people.
“Sean was never a street person, and once he was on medication that worked for him, he was doing so well,” Penny said. “He was doing counselling, meditation and all sorts of healthy things – but he wanted to feel normal and free – and then he’d go off his medication.”
The first time Hart went missing for more than a week he had gone off his medication and went on what his mother described as an adventure to Vancouver.
“Ironically I was working in Vancouver for a month at the time and I found him at the hospital – I went and saw him and the first words he said to me were, ‘hi mom, you found me.’”
Insightful, kind, freedom-seeking, adventurous and intelligent, are just some of the words Penny used to describe her son.
“He was also very fashionable, he was a power shopper, and he always dressed in all black. One time there was a report of a potential sighting, but that person was wearing a green shirt and I immediately knew that wasn’t him,” she said.
At the time he disappeared in the fall of 2020, Penny said, he was improving, but something triggered him. “My concern is that he walked into the woods and got lost,” she said.
The most challenging aspect of this continuing investigation is that police have no evidence or verified sightings of Hart since he disappeared, said Const. Markus Anastasiades of the Saanich Police Department.
“We thank the public for their continued awareness of this and to those that have provided information,” he said.
For more about Hart’s case visit findseanhart.ca.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.