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.
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
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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.
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.
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
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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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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
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
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.”