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Family searches Macleod for missing son

Owen Rooney has been missing since Aug. 14

An Australian family has expanded its search for a missing relative to Fort Macleod, Pincher Creek and Lethbridge.
Kelly Rooney is canvassing stores and social agencies in the hopes someone has seen her brother Owen Rooney, who has been missing since Aug. 14.
Owen Rooney, 24, walked away from a hospital in Grand Forks, B.C. after being treated following an assault and has not been hear from since.
“We believe due to his head injuries he is unsure of who he is,” Rooney’s mother Sharron said. “We have recently obtained his cell phone records and there are indications that he had contact with a female friend from Alberta the day before he went missing. They have not heard from him either, but we suspect he could have been making his way there.”
Rooney is five foot nine and 160 pounds, and has blue eyes. He has an “Australian Made” tattoo on his right calf and a large “O” tattooed to his shoulder blade.
Owen Rooney had lived and worked with his sisters Bree and Kelley at Big White Ski Resort over the winter, and decided to move to Kelowna for the summer.
In August Rooney went to a music festival at Salmo, B.C. and experimented with hallucinogenic mushrooms — behaviour that was out of character.
“Drugs are not his lifestyle,” Sharron Rooney said.
Sharron Rooney said the drugs put Owen in a dazed, confused and vulnerable state.
Owen Rooney spent two days in Nelson, B.C. and then caught a ride to Castlegar, B.C.
Someone whose identity is not known then gave Owen Rooney a ride to Christina Lake, B.C., where he was assaulted.
Grand Forks police picked Rooney up at Christina Lake and offered to take him to hospital, but he declined.
Instead the police dropped Rooney at the Grand Forks bus depot.
“He got on the bus and then got off, cashed in his ticket and went to the hospital,” Sharron Rooney said.
Owen Rooney was treated in the emergency department, given a morphine-based painkiller and stayed overnight.
Sometime between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 14 Rooney walked away from the hospital, leaving behind his backpack, broken cell phone and other belongings.
“That Owen hasn’t made any contact with his sisters, or us, is very unusual,” said Sharon Rooney, who with her husband Steve left jobs in Australia to search for their son. “We feel that Owen after these three consecutive incidents combined, in the one week have put him in a very questionable mental state. With the unmonitored head trauma he may not know who he is. He hasn’t used his credit card or collected his paycheque from Kelowna.”
The Rooneys are appealling to residents of Fort Macleod and district who have seen Owen for information.
“Owen was a healthy happy 24-year-old with a loving family, working and travelling in B.C.,” Sharron Rooney said. “He had contacted me two days before he went missing and was ready to come home to Australia.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-778-686-3534.
There is more information at www.find-owen.com and on Facebook at “Help Find Owen Rooney.”

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