A Barrie man who was reported missing in 2005 has returned home to his family, Simcoe.com has learned.
Hal Forrest was 24 when he left a note for his parents that said he was leaving the house to “find himself” on Feb. 28, 2005.
He was apparently going to do some job hunting and, after dropping his mom off at work, he parked the car at a Barrie bookstore, leaving the keys inside. He left a note behind for them to find the vehicle, but had gathered his belongings — including a computer and some clothes — and vanished. He even left all of his identification at home.
It was a mystery that stumped police and family members. But now, Barrie police have confirmed Forrest has reunited with his family after more than a decade.
“He is no longer missing and returned home in August 2019,” spokesperson Peter Leon said. “The case was closed upon his return, as it was determined that there was nothing criminal in nature with respect to his disappearance.”
In 2018, Hal Forrest Sr. made another plea for any clues to his son’s whereabouts.
“We always hold out hope. We think he just wanted to start anew, which is why he never took his ID. He took his belongings,” Hal Forrest Sr. said at the time.
Forrest’s family never lost hope he would be found, even creating a Find Hal Forrest Facebook page so friends and family could post birthday and well wishes through the years.
Forrest’s older brother, Barrie police Det.-Const. Anthony Forrest, even auditioned to be on “The Amazing Race Canada” in 2013 in hopes of searching the country for his younger brother.
Simcoe.com has reached out to Det.-Const. Forrest for further comment, but has not heard back.