Where is Shin Noh? Family concentrates search in East Van
It has been more than a month since Shin Ik Noh, the 64-year-old man with Alzheimer’s disease, went missing in Coquitlam, but friends, family and even strangers refuse to give up hope.
On Saturday, following dozens of tips of suspected sightings in the area, family moved the search headquarters from Port Moody to East Vancouver and launched a concerted effort to find their loved one.
“We’re guessing he hasn’t shaved, so he might look like the homeless, unless someone is taking care of him,” said Sam Noh, who is organizing the efforts to look for his father. “In terms of clothing, he did leave with a plaid shirt but right now he could have a jacket on.”
Noh said they have received dozens of sightings from as far north as Burke Mountain and as far south as New Westminster, and have also heard tips that are concentrated around East Vancouver.
“Ironically when he was a church pastor, with his members he would come out to the Downtown Lower East Side and distribute sandwiches,” Noh said. “He loves this area and loves the water.”
With access to free meals and clothing in the area, Noh hopes his father is nearby, but says the scattered sightings around Metro Vancouver make sense.
“My dad could walk long distances,” Noh said. “Also, we have reason to believe he hopped on transit frantically trying to find his way home.”
Saturday’s effort divided the area into grids with searchers scouring the neighbourhoods and talking to strangers.
Cards and posters with an artist’s rendering of what Shin Noh could look like now were on display to help jog people’s memories.
Although his father is still missing, Noh is encouraging others who have a family member with Alzheimer’s or a similar condition to develop a strategy in case they wander off, and points to a system in the United States called Silver Alert.
“When a senior with dementia goes missing, an immediate alert goes out through the media so there’s a better chance of locating the senior that wandered away,” he said, adding it is similar to what exists for missing children. Sam hopes the system will come to Canada.
In the meantime, the family is asking for the public to keep their eyes out for Shin Noh.
He is described as 5-6 tall and 160 lbs with an average build. He has black hair that is greying on the sides.
He was last seen wearing a black New York Rangers baseball cap, a green and navy blue long-sleeved plaid shirt, dark green pants and black dress shoes.
Anyone who sees him is asked to call police immediately and quote Coquitlam RCMP file number 2013-27945.
WIth a report from Peter Grainger