Darlene and Ron McAuley make a plea for information for their missing son, Ryan. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

Parents of B.C. man missing for 3 months under mental health act plead for information

Ryan McAuley has not been seen since Feb. 15

The parents of a man who’s been missing since just after Valentine’s Day are worried his mental health issues might be putting him in danger.

Ryan McAuley, who was living at a mental health facility in Coquitlam, has not been heard from since Feb. 15.

His parents, Ron and Darlene, say it’s not the first time the 34-year-old has gone missing but police say this time is unusual.

“Even when Ryan has gone missing in the past, there’s usually been some trace. He’s left breadcrumbs and we’ve been able to find him,” said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin.

“This time our biggest concern there is no trace of Ryan.”

Ron said Ryan was diagnosed with late-onset schizophrenia five years ago.

“Part of his disorder is that he has a compulsion to be somewhere else rather than where he is,” Ron said at a Wednesday press conference in Coquitlam.

“But before he’d leave us a note, phone us to let us know he’s alright, we noticed activity in his bank account or he has actual turned himself into the hospital.

“This time, there’s nothing.”

Darlene said Ryan is “quiet, gentle, patient,” but “struggled with the idea of schizophrenia when it first started.”

Her son, who was attending university when he was first diagnosed, “knows he needs help but the psychosis overwhelms him and that’s when he takes off.”

Darlene said Ryan can appear normal and that passersby may not notice that anything is amiss.

Police say Ryan likes to hitchhike and has gotten as far as Ontario or Manitoba before he’s been found.

The McAuley family has had a rough three months with Ryan’s disappearance.

“We lost my mother, a nephew, and a brother-in-law, so we’re struggling to maintain the hope we haven’t lost a son as well.”

Darlene addressed her missing son in hopes that he was watching the press conference.

“Ryan, if you’re listening to this, please know that your family misses you, loves you and wants you home. You always have a home with us. Please call us.”

Ryan is described as a 34-year-old Caucasian man, standing six-feet-tall and weighs 240 lbs. He has light brown hair and wears glasses.

Police have launched a dedicated tip line. Anyone who sees him is asked to call 1-877-687-3377 and cite file 2019-4952.


@katslepian

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