Sean Hart, 34, was last seen leaving the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health facility on Nov. 6. (Saanich Police Department)

Sean Hart, 34, was last seen leaving the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health facility on Nov. 6. (Saanich Police Department)

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

Family hopeful as possible sightings reported across Island and in Vancouver

Family members of a missing Saanich man are planning to organize independent searches locally and on the mainland in an effort to bring him home as police follow up on possible sightings.

Sean Hart, 34, has been missing since Nov. 6 when he unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health facility in the 4500-block of Blenkinsop Road.

On Nov. 18, his mother, Penny Hart, flew in from Calgary to spread the word about her son’s disappearance. Since arriving, she has been plastering posters everywhere and asking the community to keep an eye out for her son.

Twenty days after he disappeared, some 45 Peninsula Emergency Measures Organization search and rescue volunteers searched Mount Douglas Park for any evidence of Hart.

READ ALSO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

The volunteers searched the entire park in one day but found no sign of him, Penny said. With nothing to go on, the crews called off their search. She’s grateful to the volunteers, Saanich police and members of the community who have assisted with the search so far.

Const. Markus Anastasiades of the Saanich Police Department said possible sightings have been pouring in from all over the Island and Vancouver, and police are investigating each one but so far, none have led to anything.

If a sighting is confirmed, it would provide a starting point and another search could begin in the surrounding area, Penny explained. She noted that the family plans to recruit volunteers and conduct their own searches locally and on the mainland in the coming days.

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

Hart, who has schizophrenia, became sick after taking LSD as a teen and “has been struggling with mental illness for a long time” but is a survivor, Penny explained.

She noted that when he’s stable, Hart is very personable but when he’s manic, he prefers to seclude himself so she worries “he’s either lost or hurt in the woods.”

This isn’t the first time Hart has gone missing – incidents he refers to as “adventures” – and each time he becomes manic while off his medications, she explained. Penny added that once he’s stable again, he always apologizes for making the family worry.

She emphasized that one in five people struggles with mental illness and that it’s not something to be afraid of. She hopes the community will think of him as someone’s missing son rather than a sick person.

READ ALSO: Head of Island Health says Saanich Peninsula Hospital not part of racist guessing game

“Sean is a beautiful person,” she said. “A lot of people love him.”

Hart is described as a Caucasian man, six feet tall, weighing 130 pounds with blue eyes and long, curly, brown hair. He was last seen dressed in all black and wearing a white mask.

Because he has been off his medication for nearly a month, Hart requires immediate medical attention. Police ask that anyone who spots him call 911 instead of approaching him. A Mental Health Act warrant has been issued for his arrest.

For updates from the family, follow Find Sean Hart on Facebook.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

missing personSaanich Police Department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bill Almond’s observatory in its new home on a Saanich lakeside. (Submitted/Cameron Burton)
Colwood stargazing dome makes a move to Saanich

The backyard structure finds a new home after 30 years

Chris Grzywacz, Seed and Stone’s development agent, holds products from the Songhees Cannabis S + S store on April 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
First cannabis store opens on Songhees Nation, creates economic opportunity says chief

The Songhees Cannabis S + S had a soft launch at its 1502 Admirals Road location on April 20

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Darrel McLeod won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2018 for his first book, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age. His newly-released memoir, Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity, follows as a sequel. (Black Press Media file)
Critically acclaimed Sooke author releases new memoir

Peyakow follows as a sequel to Darrel McLeod’s first book, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age

RCMP have appealed to the public for help identifying the man. (Black Press Media file image)
Police, dog unit called after man who exposed himself at West Shore elementary school

West Shore RCMP credits students, aged 11 and 5, for seeking help

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton ready to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to authorize legal action

Most Read