Years-long mystery of missing Australian comes to a sad end

BC Coroners Service confirms identity of deceased Owen Kiernan Rooney

Owen Kiernan Rooney

Owen Kiernan Rooney

A mystery of a young Australian man who went missing in southern B.C. in 2010 has been tragically solved.

On Monday, July 10, the BC Coroners Service confirmed the identity of a man whose remains were found near Hardy Mountain near Grand Forks in June, 2017.

He was Owen Kiernan Rooney, an electrician from Australia, who was 24 years old when he went missing on Aug. 14, 2010.

Mr. Rooney left the Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks on that evening, leaving his belongings behind. He had been hitchhiking back to Kelowna where he was living after a trip to the Shambala music festival near Salmo. Despite extensive searches at the time, he could not be located.

While on a training exercise on June 10, 2017, members of the Grand Forks Search and Rescue Unit found what they believed to be human remains in a bush near the bottom of a steep cliff near the base of Hardy Mountain. Post-mortem testing, co-ordinated by the BC Coroners Service Special Investigations Unit, now has confirmed that those remains are those of Mr. Rooney.

The BC Coroners Service continues to investigate to try to discover the cause and manner of Mr. Rooney’s death.

The BC Coroners Service would like to thank the Grand Forks RCMP and members of the search-and-rescue teams who, over a period of almost seven years, never gave up on trying to discover what had happened to Mr. Rooney.

The family of Mr. Rooney, who returned to Australia after spending more than six months in Canada looking for Owen, has been notified of his death.