The family of a Winnipeg man who is recovering in a Regina hospital believes he had been held captive since February, beaten and tortured.

Dustin LaFortune, who went to Calgary two years ago to start a moving business, was supposed to be the best man at his cousin's wedding in Manitoba in April.

Family reported the 26-year-old missing when he failed to show up. Days after the missing persons report was filed, someone dropped a badly injured LaFortune off at a Regina hospital.


Pictures of Dustin LaFortune of Winnipeg before and after his disappearance. His family believes he was tortured for a prolonged period before he was dropped off at a Regina hospital. ((Facebook))

Family members believe he was tortured over a prolonged period and think they know who is responsible. But they have no idea why the attack lasted so long or why it was so violent.

LaFortune spoke to police for the first time on Friday and spoke to his family on Thursday over the phone.  He told them he knew who they were and that he loved them and missed them

Regina police will only say the case is under investigation. CBC News has learned that LaFortune testified in the Hells Angels murder trial of Daniel Tokarchuk in 2004.

However, family members told CBC News that LaFortune's connection to that trial was primarily as a witness to the behaviour of Torkarchuk after the killing. At the time, LaFortune happened to live in the same neighbourhood.

The family said their suspicions fall elsewhere.

LaFortune's body is covered in burn and stab marks and what his family refers to as "torture wounds."

He also has extensive brain damage. LaFortune used to weigh 250 pounds but was down to 87 pounds.

Marcel LaFortune, Dustin's cousin, said that he was only able to recognize him because of the colour of his eyes and that it's horrifying to see him in his present condition.

"It's been a battle, you know?," Marcel said. "It's been lots of sleepless nights. Nightmares. Lots of time off work. Travelling back and forth to Regina just to be by his side so he knows that he's safe."