British Columbia

Family seeks son missing 10 weeks in B.C.

A family from Australia has lodged a formal complaint with B.C.'s Interior Health Authority over treatment of their missing son.

A family from Australia has lodged a formal complaint with the Interior Health Authority over treatment of their son as they continue their search for him after more than 10 weeks.

Owen Rooney was badly beaten and confused when he checked into Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Grand Forks, B.C., Aug. 14, but the 24-year-old walked out of the facility after staying just one night.

The man's parents, Steve and Sharron, left their jobs in Australia and along with two daughters now search full time, staying at a motel in Grand Forks, in B.C.'s southern Interior.

"We're just so determined to find him. We live too far away to just walk away," Sharron Owen told CBC News. "He has a very loving family and a loving extended family and they all want him back, too."

Beaten badly

The young man got into a fight in Christina Lake, about 15 kilometres northeast of Grand Forks, and was beaten badly enough that he was bleeding out of his ears when he checked himself into hospital, the family has learned.

They said he was acting dazed yet was never given a head scan or properly monitored.

After one night in hospital, he wandered away without his backpack, said his mother.

"Nobody queried him that day on whether he could get a hold of friends and family," she said. "And they didn't follow up."

Rooney added the people of Grand Forks have been supportive, but the couple is deeply concerned about their son's treatment.

Interior Health said it's looking into the family's complaints.

The RCMP became involved in the search, but has had to scale back their efforts at finding the missing man.