The remains of an Australian man who went missing in Canada seven years ago have been found in a bush, but the circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear.
The British Columbia Coroners Service confirmed its investigation into Owen Rooney’s death was continuing, after DNA testing confirmed that remains discovered near Hardy Mountain last month were that of the electrician from Ulladulla, New South Wales.
Mr Rooney had not been seen since August 14, 2010 when he left the Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks.
The 24-year-old left his belongings at the hospital and was hitchhiking back to Kelowna, where he was living, after a trip to a music festival.
His mother, Sharron, confirmed the news via social media on Monday evening.
“We were notified a few weeks ago that human remains were found at Hardy Mountain BC … 3km from the hospital that Owen went missing from,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“We have come together as a family to receive the news via a phone appointment, the DNA results have confirmed it is our Owen.
“Emotionally digesting this news is a challenge.
“We take solace in the fact that we can bring him home to us.”
The remains were discovered by the Grand Forks Search and Rescue Unit while on a training exercise last month.
Mr Rooney’s family spent more than six months looking for him after his disappearance.
“We are so grateful to everyone here for your positive love and support,” Ms Rooney’s post read.
“This has given us the ability to continue our connection, perseverance and strength till this day.
“We thank the Grand Forks Search and Rescue for their bravery and diligence in bringing Owen home to us.”