A nearly 30-year-old missing person’s case has been solved after an Ontario man who disappeared in 1986 suddenly remembered his identity.
Edgar Latulip was 21 when he was last seen at a bus station in Kitchener, Ont.
On Wednesday, Niagara Regional Police said he was found roughly 130 kilometres away in St. Catharines, Ont., now a 51-year-old man, after he began remembering pieces of his identity and gave his name to a social worker.
Const. Philip Gavin of the Niagara Regional Police told Global News when he arrived in St. Catharines he suffered a head injury that left him with limited memory at the time. Then one month ago, he began to remember something.
“In early January Mr. Latulip had the opportunity to interact with a local social worker and during the course of that discussion he thought his real name was Latulip,” Gavin said. “He had some breaks in his memory and some points of clarity about his identity.”
Gavin said through some online sleuthing the social worker discovered there was a 30-year-old missing person’s case involving an Edgar Latulip out of the Kitchener Waterloo area.
WATCH: Edgar Latulip disappeared in 1986 after forgetting his identity
Police had believed Latulip, who is developmentally delayed, took a bus to the Niagara Falls area but were unable to locate him.
Latulip had originally come forward in January to St. Catharines police and provided a DNA sample and was sent to the Centre of Forensics Sciences in Toronto. Gavin said the sample came back a match on Feb. 5 to a family member’s DNA on file with Waterloo Regional Police.
“It’s not something I’ve heard of before in real policing, I’ve heard about it in the TV world,” Gavin said. “This is really an astounding case. The fact that he has been living under a different identity for all these years in St. Catharines.”
Pina Arcamone, director of the Missing Children’s Network, said in 2002 her network worked with the RCMP to prepare flyers of Latulip and sent them to organizations that work with homeless shelters.
“Some of the health institutions as well, just in the hopes that maybe someone might have come across him, might have spotted him,” she told Global News.
Aramone said she was “stunned” and “overjoyed” by the news Latulip was found.
“It’s a wonderful story of hope,” she said. “It’s filled us with a lot of hope and it’s given so much hope to so many of our families that have been waiting decades to hear from their child.”
Police said there are still many unanswered questions about the case but are hoping to quickly reunite Latulip with his family after almost three decades apart.
*With files from Mark McAllister