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'He's loved and we want him back'

The family hopes Grant, who was battling depression is in the Bonfield area where he has ties and getting away from the life problems he was dealing with

The family of a Guelph man missing for 17 days is holding out hope he will be found safe.

Grant Donais, 36, was last seen on surveillance video at a Guelph business on June 10.

See: Family concerned about missing man

The next day he missed a scheduled appointment to pick up his 13-year-old daughter and five-year-old son at their mother’s house and drop them off at school, something he never missed.

“That’s when we started to say ‘something’s going on,’” said Grant’s father Roger Donais.

“There’s been no communication whatsoever with any of the family or his friends since then,” Roger says.

On June 16 Roger phoned Guelph Police to report his son missing.

The family hopes Grant, who was battling depression, has headed out west to visit his sister in Alberta or gone up north to the Bonfield area where he has ties, getting away from the life problems he was dealing with.

“He’s loved and we want him back,” says Roger, choking back tears.

He describes Grant as kind, caring and the type of person that would help out anyone. He was outgoing and had lots of friends. He liked fishing and camping and recently got into home brewing.

“We’re hoping he just needs a break. Whatever the problem is, if he just reached out to us, we’re there. It’s not the end of the world and we can help him with whatever the struggle is here if he’ll let us.”

Grant was born in Red Deer, Alberta, but the family returned to Ontario when he was a child for his father’s work.

He attended St. John’s elementary school and St. James high school in Guelph as well as living for a while in Walkerton.

For the past 19 years, he has lived in Guelph, working in the home construction business.

Around Christmas, Roger says financial and marital difficulties led to Grant becoming clinically depressed last winter, which led to a trip to the emergency department.

He was seeing a counsellor and still had good relationships with his parents, saw his children regularly and had lots of friends and is close to his sister Samantha in Alberta.

“The last time we had him over to our house was the middle of May. We were celebrating his 36th birthday and he was over with the children,” Roger says.

Two weeks later he was missed a scheduled appointment to see his children.

Grant’s mother came to Guelph to see their son the next day and told him he always had a place to stay with his parents at their Cambridge home.

That was the last time she saw him.

“I went to Google and said ‘missing person in Ontario.’ I had no Idea what to do,” Roger says.

Now he says the family has done everything it can do.

“We’re left with prayer and the work the police are doing,” his father said.

Det. Cst. Scott Wright said the investigation is ongoing and police are looking at all possibilities.

Grant Donais is white, with a large build but slimmer than the photos seen with this story, hazel eyes, short brown hair, and a neat beard.

He is believed to be operating a 2005 Dodge Ram pickup grey with Ontario license plate numbered AY83951. 

Anyone with information to contact the Guelph Police Service at 519-824-1212 or the investigating officer Det. Cst. Scott Wright ext. 7330. Anonymous tips can also be left with Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 30 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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