British Columbia

Rooney parents head home

The parents of an Australian man missing in B.C. have gone home after eight months of searching — without any answers.
Owen Rooney, in a photo provided by his family. (CBC)

The parents of an Australian man missing in B.C. have gone home after eight months of searching — without any answers.

Owen Rooney was beaten in Christina Lake last August and went to hospital in Grand Forks. He walked out of the hospital without his backpack and hasn't been seen since.

Sharron and Steve Rooney came to Canada in September to find him. They canvassed door-to-door, organized searches, and prodded the RCMP and Interior Health Authority to release more information about their son.

Sharron Rooney said that it is now time for them to leave. Still, she will not believe that her son is dead.

"Of course, you have your doubts, but I have a feeling he is still with us and with head trauma," Rooney said.

"It may be just a comfortable way to feel, but that is the way I feel."

Rooney said that Canadians in general have been very helpful, but the police and health system were not as responsive with her son's case as she would have hoped.

"It was more than frustrating," she said. "It was heartbreaking."

Owen Rooney's two sisters remain in Canada to continue the search.

With files from the CBC's Bob Keating in Nelson

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