The parents of a 25-year-old man with mental disabilities who went missing from the Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre issued a tearful plea to him and the public today, saying they don't know if their son is dead or alive.
Landon Webb was last seen on Oct. 15. At the time, he was staying at the rehabilitation centre, but was allowed unsupervised access to Waterville, the Annapolis Valley community where the facility is located.
"We're fearing the worst for Landon," his mother Brenda Webb told reporters at a news conference in Halifax. "Our hearts are really heavy. We're really worried about him."
Brenda Webb found it difficult to speak, as did her husband and Landon Webb's father, Darrell Webb.
"Call home or call one of your brothers," he sobbed.
Plea for help from public
The family is asking the public to watch for anything unusual, such as people buying groceries they might not normally purchase or going into vacant buildings with bags.
Webb's mother said her son has disappeared in the past, but this is by far the longest he's been missing.
Webb functions at the level of a 10 to 12-year-old and has been declared legally incompetent by the courts. He also has a number of medical issues including epilepsy, heart disease, asthma and language and anxiety disorders.
Brenda Webb said her son's condition is deteriorating and she's worried about his health without his medications.
"I'm assuming he's had [epileptic] seizures and he's alone," she said.
The Webbs said the situation could easily have been avoided if Landon Webb not been allowed into the community unsupervised and without support, a move the family opposed.
Call for premier to act
Brenda Hardiman, spokesperson for Advocating Parents of Nova Scotia, which advocates for the families of people with intellectual and physical disabilities, says there's a disturbing trend in the province of service providers abruptly ending care for people with little or no plan of action.
She said the Department of Community Services, to the best of her knowledge, does not have a clause in their service provider agreement that speaks to termination of care.
"It would protect our vulnerable family members and friends from being evicted to the streets without a plan," Hardiman said.
She called on Premier Stephen McNeil to immediately intervene: "Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard is not doing her job very well and families across Nova Scotia are relying on you to fix this."
If he is found, Landon Webb will not be allowed to return to the facility. The rehab centre told his family it is unable to care for Webb.
Last week, someone claiming to be Landon Webb created an account and wrote just one post on Facebook, but his parents don't believe it's him and the account cannot be verified.
Police say while they're still searching the Kings County area, they have new information to believe he's in Stellarton or New Glasgow.