Man from Riverview sought
A man who walked away from Riverview Hospital earlier this month is still at large and police are seeking the public’s assistance in tracking him down.
Marc Veillette is said to suffer from mental health issues that make him prone to violence and police recommend that members of the public do not approach him.
“Our investigators alerted neighbouring detachments immediately,” said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung. “There have been several sightings but trails are getting cold. He is considered street smart and doesn’t have any physical disability.”
Chung said that anyone who sees the 45-year-old should call the Coquitlam RCMP or their local police detachment immediately.
Veillette was last seen by Riverview Hospital staff at 5 p.m. on Nov. 9 when he went for a walk. The Caucasian male was wearing a polo shirt, dark blue sweat pants and white runners. He is 5’9” tall, weighs 144 lb. and has sandy brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with any information as to his whereabouts is asked to call the Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550.
Veillette is the sixth person since the spring to require a public notification after leaving Riverview Hospital without permission. However, the number of people who go missing but are not reported is considerably higher.
During the seven-month period between April 1 and Oct. 31, 55 cases of patients who had not returned to the site when expected were reported, which is an average of 7.8 cases per month.
That number is slightly higher than the 12 months prior to April 1, 2011, when 80 people, or an average of 6.7 cases per month were reported.
But it is important to note that the numbers reflect patients who may have simply been late returning, according to Lynn Cook, the site operating officer at Riverview Hospital.
She said that giving patients a certain amount of autonomy at the facility is part of the re-integration process.
“Patients are assessed on an ongoing basis and may receive grounds privileges after a time if they are found by the clinical team to be stable, with lower risk, and to be progressing in their treatment,” she wrote in an email. “Access to RVH [Riverview Hospital] grounds and the community is an important step for patients in their recovery and eventual discharge to the community.”