US & Canada

Canada man missing for 30 years found after remembering identity

Artists depictions of missing Canadian man Edgar Latulip Image copyright North American Missing Persons Network
Image caption Edgar Latulip, as depicted on the North American Missing Persons Network's website

A Canadian man who disappeared 30 years ago is set to be reunited with his family after remembering his identity, Canadian media reported.

Edgar Latulip was 21 when he went missing from a home for disabled people in Ontario province.

He boarded a bus, but soon after suffered a head injury that police believe robbed him of his memory.

Mr Latulip lived in the Niagara region under a different identity for decades before experiencing flashbacks.

He told a social worker who checked the name Latulip and discovered it was the subject of a missing person investigation.

A DNA test confirmed his true identity.

"I've been a police officer for 18 years and this is something I've seen on TV but never been a part of," Niagara Regional Police Constable Philip Gavin told the Star.

"Absolutely, this is quite a rare one."

His mother, Ottawa resident Sylvia Wilson told the Record she was "blown away" by the news.

She said the last time she saw him, he was recovering in the hospital after attempting to commit suicide.

Ms Wilson was convinced he had either been killed or killed himself.

Mr Latulip, who is now 50 years old, has the mental age of a 12-year-old, according to the North American Missing Person Network.

Ms Wilson said she had a difficult relationship with her eldest child, but told the Record: "I want to talk to him and help him out any way I can. I just want to see him."

Waterloo Regional Police officer Duane Gingerich said there was a reported sighting of the man in 1993, which made him think he might still be alive, but there was not much hope.

"I had hopes that he was out there somewhere," he told the 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."

Missing memories:

People who can't remember who they are or where they came from have long captured our imagination.

Before Edgar Latulip, there was Benjaman Kyle. Found naked in a Burger King car park in 2004 with very little recollection of how he got there, finding his true identity became an American obsession.

And in the UK there was Piano Man, a mysterious German found washed up on a beach with a virtuoso musical talent but apparently no memory.

Of course some cases have turned out to be hoaxes, British 'Canoe man' John Darwin famously faked amnesia to try to escape prosecution for massive insurance fraud.

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