A Canadian man who recovered his memory 30 years after disappearing is to be reunited with his family.
Edgar Latulip was the subject of a missing persons investigation when he vanished from a group home in Waterloo Region, Ontario, in September 1986.
But apart from a suspected sighting in Hamilton in 1993, nothing was ever heard about him and authorities feared he had died.
In January, Latulip began to tell a social worker in St Catharines that he thought he was living under the wrong identity.
“Pieces of his memory started coming back. Then the social worker found something on the Internet that led them to believe this was something more,” Philip Gavin from Niagara Regional Police told the Waterloo Region Record.
Latulip submitted a voluntary DNA test at a police station in January, and the results came back Feb. 8 confirming a match with a relative.
“I had hopes that he was out there somewhere,” Duane Gingerich, a detective constable with Waterloo Regional Police, said. “For us as investigators, this is great, this is awesome.”
Latulip tried to take his own life once before his disappearance, and in 1986 it was assumed that the 21-year-old had traveled to Niagara Falls to kill himself.
Police now say the memory loss was caused by a head injury.
“I think he got on a bus, and the bus took him to Niagara Falls, and then he wandered on to St. Catharines. That's when he suffered the head injury. When he kind of woke up, things were a lot different,” Gavin told the Waterloo Region Record.
Latulip’s mother worried he may have been abused or even killed because he only had the mental age of a child.
“This is always at the back of my mind. Having an answer would mean closure,” she said in a 2014 interview. “When Edgar disappeared, I became quite sick. I had to take a leave of absence from work. I was near a nervous breakdown.”
The reunification process is expected to be challenging.
“He’s got a lot to take in to remember his old identity,” Gavin told the Canadian Press. “There’s nerves. You haven’t seen your family members in all these years and now a reunification process. I think it’s a lot to take in.”