The body discovered Victoria Day in a wooded area of Armour Hill has been identified as that of Brian Wagner, 45.
Mr. Wagner was first reported missing by his family in December.
City police launched an investigation, but announced Thursday that no foul play is suspected in either Mr. Wagner’s death or his disappearance.
Police consider the case closed.
Mr. Wagner was a well-known member of the Peterborough arts and activist communities. He was part of Trent Radio with the show Preying Mantra, performed with the band Full Metal Booty and was a member of the Food Not Bombs movement.
He grew up in Peterborough and Ennismore and went to Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School and then the Ontario College of Art in Toronto before returning to Peterborough.
Myles Conner, Mr. Wagner’s friend and former roommate, said those who knew Mr. Wagner are coping with the recent news.
The past few months haven’t been easy, and Conner said many of Mr. Wagner’s friends believed Mr. Wagner likely wouldn’t return home when he was first reported missing.
“Those close to him weren’t thinking that he would show up,” Conner said.
Mr. Wagner struggled with depression and bipolar disorder. In September he attempted suicide and was hospitalized for several weeks.
Police officers searching his room after he was reported missing found a goodbye note addressed to his mother and a small amount of money to help pay for his funeral expenses.
Mr. Wagner’s remains were discovered by a group of youths who were walking through the wooded area Monday.
The recovery does provide the family with a sense of closure, Conner said, and will help everyone move on.
Conner said Mr. Wagner’s friends held a brief gathering Monday to explain to everyone what was going on and put escalating rumours to rest.
Rachelle Sauvé, another roommate of Mr. Wagner’s, agreed that now family and friends can “start to move on a healing path.”
She added that she’s thankful the remains were found.
“A lot of families never find their missing,” she said.
Sauvé said family and friends are planning a memorial for Mr. Wagner in Jackson Park. It’ll take place in about a month, although no date has been set.
It will include food and music, she said.
Jackson Park is a “fitting” place to hold the memorial, Sauvé said, because Mr. Wagner had loved the woods.
“He very much found his spirit connected to the trees and the roots,” she said. “We’ll jam it out in a place that had been important to him.”
Friends of Brian Wagner gathered Monday night at Confederation Square for a candlelight vigil for the missing 45-year-old Peterborough man.
Wagner, who disappeared two weeks ago, is being remembered as a pioneer in the radio art scene and a well-liked member of Peterborough’s art and activist communities. He has been a long-time contributor to Trent Radio since the 1980s and an active member of Peterborough’s Food Not Bombs movement.
“I love Brian. He is and has been an incredibly important influence in Peterborough’s art community,” said close friend Meagh Culkeen, 28, who met Wagner as a fan of his music about eight years ago.
“He’s been a proud champion of weirdos in the Kawartha and Peterborough area for as long as he has lived here. There is no way to measure the effect he has had on Peterborough’s art community. Everybody misses him very much.”
Wagner’s disappearance, tied to an apparent suicide, has left friends searching for closure, explained flatmate Myles Connor, who helped organize Monday’s ceremony.
“We’re in limbo, until he’s found,” Connor said. “(Monday’s event hopes to) create a space for talking about that or just create a space dedicated to Brian and to Brian’s friends.”
Sheila Wagner, Brian’s mother, said her son was reported missing by his housemates. He was last seen the morning of Dec. 10. Police found several notes and some money left behind in his room indicating that he had planned to commit suicide, she said.
“They found a note saying goodbye to me,” Sheila said Monday, struggling to fight back tears. “He said he was so sorry to leave me like this and told me I had supported him and done so much for him all his life. He left a small amount of money to help with his funeral expenses.”
Wagner suffers from bi-polar disorder and facial blindness, which means he has trouble recognizing people outside of their familiar surroundings.
He had attempted suicide in September and was hospitalized for several weeks.
“When he came out, every week he seemed to be doing a little bit better,” Sheila said. “But I know his depression has been very great the last year.”
Wagner grew up in Peterborough and Ennismore and attended Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School before going on to the Ontario College of Art in Toronto.
He is known as an artist who experiments with sound and noise through his band Full Metal Booty and his Trent Radio show – Preying Mantra – he hosts Wednesday nights.
“Radio art is this strange wonderful world of sound and Brian participated in it long before it became popular,” said Trent Radio general manager John Muir.
“He’s quite well respected for it in Canada and right across the world, actually.”
Culkeen, who took up the same breed of music Wagner enjoyed, said Wagner has always been supportive of other artists and encouraged artists to explore unchartered territory.
“Brian was very encouraging and very supportive. He was a mentor,” she said.
At least 40 friends of Wagner’s gathered Monday night in the cold around a small banquet tent in Confederation Square, installed close to the sidewalk along George St. across from City Hall.
There was hot food being served in the tent, and friends hugged and talked, some of them wiping away tears and lighting large white candles they stuck in the snow.
After they’d eaten, people huddled around the tent and each took a turn talking about their memories of Wagner. Rachelle Sauve, his housemate, spoke first. She noted that while there’s been conjecture about Wagner’s whereabouts, she found a suicide note at home.
“It is very unlikely he is going to come home,” she told the crowd.
City police, who released Wagner’s photo and description to the public in mid-December, continue to investigate his whereabouts.
Anyone who has any information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call city police as soon as possible at 705-876-1122.
PETERBOROUGH – Brian Wagner is missing and police and his family believe he may be hard to convince to come home.
Well-known in the visual arts community, Mr. Wagner, 45, has bipolar disorder and facial blindness, making it difficult for him to recognize people if they are out of context from where he usually sees them. He was last seen at his home on Tuesday and his family wants him back.
He is five-foot-nine, 160 pounds with brown eyes and a full beard. He wears glasses with dark frames and multiple earrings in both ears and his eyebrow.
He was last seen wearing a black or dark blue winter coat, dark cargo pants, black military style boots with a small copper-coloured ball tied onto one of the laces on the front of the boot.
If anyone sees Brian Wagner or has any information regarding his whereabouts are asked to call Peterborough Lakefield Community Police as soon as possible at 705-876-1122, ext.555, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800- 222-TIPS
Peterborough Lakefield Police are urging the public to be on the lookout for a missing Peterborough man.
45 year old Brian Wagner has not been seen since December 10th.
Police say Wagner suffers from bi-polar disorder and facial blindness, meaning he has difficulty recognizing people outside of their familliar surroundings.
He’s described as:
– approx 5’9-5’10 tall
-about 150-160 pounds
-wearing prescription glasses with dark frames
-a full dark brown beard
-Thinning brown hair that’s pulled back to look like it’s in a ponytail, but it’s actually is to short to do so.
-multiple ear piercings in both ears
-left eyebrow piercing
-Was last seen wearing a black or dark blue winter coat, dark cargo pants, and black military style boots with a small copper color ball tied onto one of the laces on the front of the boot.
If anyone sees Brian Wagner or has any information regarding his whereabouts are asked to call Peterborough Lakefield Community Police as soon as possible at 705-876-1122 or contact the PLCPS Crime Line at 705876-1122 ext.555, through email at email@example.com or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800- 222-TIPS
Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service is asking for help in locating missing 45-year-old Brian Wagner.
He is described as being 5’9″ – 5’10”, 150-160lbs, has full beard and moustache, brown eyes, ear piercings and was wearing black or blue coat cargo pants and black military style boots
If you have any information please call 705-876-1122