More information is coming to light about the circumstances leading up to the disappearance of a Surrey family of four earlier this week.
Sheldon and Nona Anderson and their two daughters Chanel, 13, and Mariah, 10, were last seen on Sunday, and last spoke to family members on Monday night, the evening before they were reported missing to police.
Now, relatives have come forward to say they are worried about the Anderson family, amid growing concerns about the parents’ mental health.
Sheldon Anderson’s uncle, Marv Steier, told Global News that until two weeks ago, the family had been living in their van in East Vancouver.
And their family says that the couple had been deteriorating over the last five years, increasingly struggling with serious paranoia.
“[They thought] the police were monitoring their emails, they were stalking them, harassing them, government agencies were stalking them and harassing them and hundreds of thousands of other people were stalking them and harassing them, everyone from the librarian to the customer service rep behind the baker,” said Steier.
Police say the family has frequented Minoru Park in Richmond, where the girls, who are homeschooled, would visit the library. They also used public showers.
Police have not deemed the disappearance suspicious at this point, nor are they worried about the condition of the young girls.
Sheldon Anderson’s mother, Angela Cote, who lives in Alberta, says there’s no question her son loves his kids and that her granddaughters are well cared for. But still, she says she is worried.
“I don’t believe that Nona and Sheldon would ever put the girls second. I know that the girls are taken care of that way. But also I know that they don’t have a place to live right now,” she said.
“We are concerned about them,” Steier added.
“They are living out of a van. It’s not healthy for the girls or the parents so we want to get them some help.”
The family’s van, a tan-coloured 2002 Toyota Sienna with Alberta licence plate BGZ-2221 was last seen on Tuesday, leaving the parking garage of the Surrey condo where the family had recently been living.
Family members say they may have been heading towards Alberta where they recently lived, but added that the Andersons had also recently lived in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Texas.
Anyone who sees the family or their vehicle, or who has information about their whereabouts is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous.
“If anyone does see the van… call 911 and alert the police,” said Steier.
“We care for them, obviously. The entire family is concerned for their welfare. We want them back, we want to get the family some help. The girls deserve to be living in a home.”
Police have released the following descriptions of the family
- Sheldon Anderson is a 43-year-old Caucasian man, about five-foot-10 and 190 pounds. He has dirty blond hair and blue eyes
- Nona Anderson is a 45-year-old Caucasian woman and about five-foot-nine. She has a medium build and long blond hair
- Chanel Anderson is a 13-year-old Caucasian girl who is about five-feet-tall. She has a thin build and long blond hair
- Mariah Anderson is a 10-year-old Caucasian girl who is about four-foot-10. She has a thin build and long blond hair