More than seven months have passed since Ryan Albert was last seen. The family has mobilized in Sooke and beyond to obtain information on his whereabouts, but so far to little avail.
“If anyone has seen him, let me know. It’s hard to function,” said his mother, Paula Albert, who travelled from her Sooke home on Wednesday to begin a search in Port Coquitlam.
Albert, 28, moved from Ontario to Sooke around 2006 with his family. He obtained his general electrician’s licence and worked for a local company.
Three years ago, his life changed. He quit his well-paying job, sold off his possessions and became homeless. Nobody knows why.
Albert is described as a 5-foot-8 white male with blue eyes and dark blond hair, weighing 140 pounds. He was last seen near Whiffin Spit Road on May 11.
The family reported Albert missing to the Sooke RCMP on June 29.
“We have no new information,” said Sgt. Kevin Shaw, an RCMP spokesperson.
“The challenge with this is that it is as likely he’s on the Island as in the Interior or the Lower Mainland. We simply don’t know at this point.”
According to Paula, Albert would take a bus from downtown Victoria to Sooke once a week and visit. He would also telephone regularly.
“He was very much a family guy. He was the glue that held the family together. Family is really important to him,” she said.
But in the late afternoon of May 11, a volatile disagreement erupted in the family home after his parents said he couldn’t live there. Albert declared he was moving to Vancouver.
Days later, the family filed a missing person report.
Paula said there is no evidence Albert ever found his way to Vancouver, and there have been no reports on the South Island.
She believes her son could have an undiagnosed mental health issue.
“He had a great job,” she said. “He was an electrician and lived in a house. Then suddenly, he decided to switch it up, so that’s why I think it’s a mental health issue.”
Albert was a happy-go-lucky teen with many friends and participated in school activities. Now, he has few friends, if any, and doesn’t keep in touch with former classmates.
Paula, her husband and three other children have searched from Vancouver Island to the Lower Mainland for months.
“We have no idea where he might be. It’s like a needle in a haystack, but I feel I have to do something instead of nothing,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 250-642-5241 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.