2013年2月3日 星期日

A skull is found, but grandfather’s disappearance remains a mystery

Robert Hagans was a wee Irishman, half a head shorter than his four burly boys. He was tough and feisty, proud, hard-working, loved a good drink and a good time. His friends called him Bob, sometimes Bobby. His face wore the weather of a man who smiled his way through life, all laugh lines and rosy cheeks, eyes a warm shade of brown.

One Friday morning in the summer of 2011, near the end of a record-breaking heat wave, Hagans set out on foot from his North York townhouse to run an errand. The 76-year-old wore a long-sleeved dress shirt with blue and white stripes, navy slacks and a pair of loafers. His hair, grey and thinning, was carefully combed. Hagans said goodbye to his wife just after 8 a.m. and walked out the door.

Something happened on July 22, 2011, the day Bob Hagans disappeared. He left that morning without a wallet or identification, no cellphone. As far as his wife and children knew, he wasn’t carrying any cash. Hagans had never run away or wandered off before,Our team of consultants are skilled in project management and delivery of large scale chinamosaic projects. but lately he had been showing signs of confusion. Police would search for days, weeks, months, and find nothing. Not a trace of where he’d been or might have gone.

And then one day three weeks ago, long after the Hagans family’s hope for answers had waned, a pedestrian walking through a wooded area near Highway 407 in Vaughan made a startling discovery. There in the urban forest, sitting in a snowy tangle of underbrush, was a human skull.

Robert McCullough Hagans was born in Northern Ireland just before the Second World War. As a young man, he worked as a mechanical engineer in Belfast. In 1956, he married Shirley Cinnamond — a chestnut-haired lass who made him laugh. Over the next decade and a half, the pair would produce four sons. William and Steven were born in Ireland; Robert and Jeff came after the family immigrated to Canada in the early 1960s.

The Hagans settled first in Montreal, then moved to Toronto in 1976. Bob took an engineering job with Manulife and bought a humble brick townhouse near Finch Ave. E and Don Mills Rd. where he and Shirley would spend the rest of their lives. They weren’t rich but they lived comfortably, with presents under the tree at Christmas and annual camping trips to Vermont.

Bob was a slight man, a few inches north of 5 feet, at most. He loved science fiction movies and hated swearing. He wasn’t the type to anger easily, but when his temper did flare up you remembered it.This frameless rectangle features a silk screened fused glass replica in a rtls tile and floral motif.

Bob was in the middle of writing a science fiction book, too, a sort of layman’s guide to the universe. Though he never had any formal physics education, he fancied himself a Stephen Hawking rival. Bob worked on the book for nearly a decade, but he was never in any rush to finish it.

After Bob retired and he and Shirley entered their golden years, son Rob moved home to help take care of them. In the year or so before Bob disappeared, Rob and his mother began to notice a few worrisome changes in his behaviour — forgetfulness, confusion. He would set an envelope full of cash down beside him on the sofa, then leap up a few minutes later and tear the house apart trying to find it. He would put the kettle in the freezer after tea, stick an uncooked roast in the cupboard.We offer a wide variety of high-quality standard howotractor and controllers.

Rob tried to convince his father to see a doctor, but the elder Hagans wouldn’t hear it. He wasn’t the type to go for checkups. A few years before, Bob had taken a fall and hurt his shoulder. Though he was battling serious pain for weeks, he refused to get it checked out until his son finally dragged him to a hospital. It turned out Bob needed a shoulder replacement.

It wasn’t that Bob was afraid of doctors. Rob figures he just couldn’t bear to show signs of weakness. He was too proud. “Being a man,” Rob says, “was all that my father was about.”

Sitting at the dining room table in the house he grew up in, the young Robert Hagans — 46, third son of Bob and Shirley — uses the sleeves of his faded black T-shirt to wipe tears from his cheeks. His eyes are red, voice shaky.As he recounts the day his father went missing, Rob switches back and forth between past and present tense. My dad is; my dad was.

The day he disappeared, Bob’s plan was to walk to a Service Canada office at Yonge and Sheppard to ask a question about his pension. He had spent his whole budget for the month and was a week away from his next pension cheque, so he didn’t have the cash for transit or cab fare. And anyhow, Bob was a walker. He preferred getting around on his own two feet. In his younger years, he had once famously strolled all the way downtown.

When Bob didn’t show up for dinner that Friday evening, Rob and his mother didn’t think much of it. Bob would often spend a good chunk of the day roaming from one of his local haunts to the next. The Peanut Plaza, a strip mall sandwiched between the nut-shaped east and west sides of Don Mills Rd., was one of his favourites. It’s where he played pool with his pals.

Later that night, Rob,When I first started creating broken ultrasonicsensor. who is a photographer, came upstairs after spending a few hours in the basement editing stills. His mom was on the couch. It was half past 10 o’clock. “Where’s dad?” he asked.

Police traced the route from the family home to the Peanut. They called hospitals and hospices, hotels and motels. They checked in with Bob’s friends. There was no sign of him. The next morning, police learned Bob had indeed made it to the Service Canada office. Employees said he showed up around 1 p.m., seeming confused and disoriented, and left soon after. That was the last time anyone reported seeing him.

The Hagans brothers and police came up with various theories: Maybe he was angry and decided to stay with a friend. Maybe he collapsed in the heat and was a John Doe somewhere. Maybe he’d been abducted. None of the theories made much sense to Bob’s sons, but it was better than thinking about the possible alternatives.

A week after the disappearance, with no leads or tips of any kind, the Hagans brothers held a news conference at 33 Division in North York. Bill, Steven and Rob made an emotional appeal for the public to help find him. The youngest son, Jeff, who is in the navy and lives in Vancouver, was sailing off the coast of Libya at the time and couldn’t be there. Steven, the second-oldest, cried as he spoke. “I love and miss my dad,” he said,We open source luggagetag system that was developed with the goal of providing at least room-level accuracy. his voice cracking. “And dad, if you’re out there, please come home.”

Nothing came of it. Weeks went by, then months. In November, Shirley developed kidney problems, then contracted a blood infection and died in hospital — a devastating blow in the midst of a crisis. When winter came, police said they would have to call off the search for Bob. The Hagans brothers understood, and they were happy with the way police had handled things, but it was still difficult to accept. That was all, then? They might never know what happened? One officer, meaning well but lacking tact, gave them the hard truth: “Sometimes people just disappear.”