A southwestern Ontario man missing for 30 years has been found after he remembered his identity, police say.

"It's extremely rare — I mean it's not something we see very often, a very unique situation," Waterloo Regional Police spokeswoman Alana Holtom said of the case. 

Edgar Latulip was reported missing on Sept. 2, 1986, after he left his residence in Kitchener, Ont., without his medication. He was 21 years old at the time. 

A police report stated Latulip, who was considered developmentally delayed and had the mental capacity of a 12-year-old, may have taken a bus to Niagara Falls. A missing persons report also said Latulip suffered from mental health problems. 

In fact, police said, he travelled to St. Catharines, about 120 kilometres southeast of his hometown.

Shortly after arriving, he fell and suffered a head injury, Const. Philip Gavin of the Niagara Regional Police told CBC News. This caused him to have limited memory of his past and who he was. He created a new identity for himself.

Latulip spoke to a social worker Jan. 7

On Jan. 7, Latulip met with a social worker and told her he thought he was somebody else, Gavin said. The social worker found his missing persons case file and police were then called in. Latulip volunteered to have a DNA test done and on Monday, the results came back indicating he was Latulip.

Gavin said it is an unusual, but happy resolution to the case.

"When someone goes missing for an extended period of time, they don't want to be found and they're off the grid and we don't find them," Gavin said. "Or the other option, sadly, is sometimes people are deceased. I've never heard of something like this where someone's memory has come back and their identity is recovered.

"It is absolutely a good news story," Gavin added. "I try not to only think about his mother's side, but also Mr. Latulip's side where for 30 years you've learned a certain way and someone tells you and confirms to you that's not who you are. That's a lot to take in, personally, right, so there's interesting pieces for him as well."

'Now it's up to him what happens'

According to Holtom, who spoke with Latulip's mother on Wednesday, the missing man has yet to be reunited with her.

"I'm sure [it's] very overwhelming for both of them, for his mom and himself, and I'm sure they're planning a reunion in the coming days," she told CBC News.

"Now it's up to him what happens, and his family what happens from here, so we don't have any part of that. Our investigators, I know there were quite a few who handled the case, are glad to know he's OK."