Scientist's disappearance a mystery to colleagues

A scientist who disappeared from Deep River, Ont., in mid-January showed no changes in his behaviour in the days before he vanished, say those who worked with him.

A scientist who disappeared from Deep River, Ont., in mid-January showed no changes in his behaviour in the days before he vanished, say those who worked with him.

Lachlan Cranswick, 41, who worked at the National Research Council's Canadian Neutron Beam Centre, based at the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited Chalk River Laboratories, has been missing since Jan. 18 from the small community 200 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.

He was last seen leaving work that day.

Colleague Daniel Banks, who is the strategic planning and communications officer at the centre, said he was surprised to hear about Cranswick's disappearance.

"There was no indication that anything was unusual," he said.

None of the two dozen people who work at the centre reported noticing anything different about Cranswick's mood in the days before his disappearance.

"He seemed quite normal as far as that goes," Banks said.

He described Cranswick as quiet, but active in the community. He was on the executive of the local curling club, and was reported missing by club members when he failed to show up for a tournament.

Originally from Australia, Cranswick worked in England before starting as a research scientist at the neutron beam centre in 2003, Banks said. His job was to collaborate with scientists all over the world who wanted to make use of the facility. When they came to collect data, he would help them with measurements and analysis.

Cranswick has no relatives in Canada, but family members in Australia have been notified of his disappearance, Banks said. His colleagues believed he lived alone and was not in a relationship.

His co-workers at the neutron beam centre are currently contacting his collaborators around the world to see if they have any additional information about his plans.

Police said Cranswick is five feet 10 inches tall, with a slim build, hazel eyes and brown hair. They said he would likely be wearing glasses and a beige parka with fur on the hood. He may also be wearing a fur hat with ear flaps, police said.