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A year later, family still seeking answers in Owen Rooney’s disappearance

A heartsick Australian family is pleading for the public’s help in finding their son Owen Kiernan Rooney, who disappeared from Grand Forks one year ago.

Rooney’s mother, Sharron Rooney, said Monday that Owen was suffering from mental trauma when he vanished outside Grand Forks Hospital on Aug. 14, 2010.

“We are unsure of his mental capabilities,” said Sharron Rooney, whose family has devoted their time and life savings in efforts to assist the search.

Owen’s dad Steve Rooney said in an RCMP news release that any information would be appreciated.

“We are pleading with the public to come forward with any information they might have,” he said.

Rooney, 24, was in Canada on an electrician’s work visa when he became involved in an odd chain of circumstances beginning at the Shambhala Music Festival near Salmo, which was held on Aug. 3-8, 2010.

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RCMP Cpl. Richard Lanz said police were notified a man was “acting suspiciously” at Christina Lake.

“It appears he had been in a fight,” said Lanz.

Rooney was taken to Grand Forks, where he initially refused medical treatment but then went to hospital.

His backpack and personal belongings were left behind when he was last seen on Aug. 14, but his wallet and ID were gone.

“Owen would have been in some disarray to walk out of a hospital without his belongings,” said Sharron Rooney.

The young man had planned to spend the summer in Kelowna.

He is described as five-foot-nine and 160 pounds with short brown hair.

Information can be given to Grand Forks RCMP at 250-442-8288 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Owen’s two sisters remain in the country assisting the search, while his parents have returned to Australia.