Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)

Mom still hopeful for Island man who left care six months ago, hasn’t been seen since

Support from community, police keeps search alive for Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Sean Hart went missing from Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich six months ago but his family, the police and the public have not stopped searching for him.

The 34-year-old who suffers from schizoaffective disorder was staying at the mental health facility in Saanich when he unexpectedly left on Nov. 6, 2020. Sean has been known to disappear for extended periods of time – usually taking to the woods and wandering long distances barefoot – when he goes off his medication.

READ ALSO: Missing Saanich man’s family holds out hope through Christmas

On Nov. 16 police issued an alert and called for the public’s help in the search. He is described as a Caucasian man, 6’ and 130 pounds with blue eyes and long, curly, brown hair. He was last seen dressed in all black.

His mother, Penny Hart, flew to Victoria from Calgary two days later to begin searching for her son on the ground and plaster his photo all over the region.

“I was so desperate to get his name out there,” she told Black Press Media on May 8, 183 days after Sean’s disappearance. She searched until late at night every day, talking to community members and reaching out to police for any updates.

READ ALSO: Search spreads for Saanich man missing from mental health facility for nearly a month

The Saanich police have been kind and reassuring, she said. The lead detective assigned to Sean’s case calls her weekly to check in – even when there are no new leads. “It just kept me going,” Penny said.

“From our investigation, we still do not have a confirmed sighting of Sean since November 6, 2020, the day he left,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades, adding the case is open and active. “We are still trying to locate him and would like to speak to anyone who saw Sean or might have information on his whereabouts.”

Penny returned to Calgary on Dec. 31, 2020 and planned to come back to the Island in the new year but the rising COVID-19 case numbers have limited her travel options. In the interim, she’s found solace in the beautiful memories of her son – soaking up the sun in Victoria’s parks, sipping coffee by the water fountain outside the Bay Centre and a Christmas spent at the Embassy Inn Hotel.

READ ALSO: Saanich police still searching for man who unexpectedly left mental health facility

Penny wonders if he might have walked to Metchosin as he’s gone there during previous disappearances, but she can’t be sure.

Possible sightings and tips poured in from all over the Island and Vancouver, and police investigated each one but none led to Sean. The reports are few and far between now, but people are still looking, Penny said, noting her Facebook group has more than 820 followers.

The support and kind messages that she received from friends and strangers alike helped her during the darkest days and give her hope. She’s grateful and hopeful that the community will continue to search until he’s found.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


Do you have a story tip? Email: devon.bidal@saanichnews.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

missing personSaanich Police Department

Just Posted

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

Shanna Ramm of Mosaic is the first person to graduate with a Bachelor of Disability Management from Pacific Coast University-Workplace Health Sciences. Her convocation took place virtually on Dec. 1, 2020. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
PROGRESS 2021: Pacific Coast University celebrates with milestones

Alberni institution earns $6M return-to-work grant from province

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read