Missing soldier found safe in city — (The Chronicle Herald)

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The Chronicle Herald

By SUSAN BRADLEY Staff Reporter

A military corporal reported missing by his Truro-area parents has been found safe in Halifax, RCMP said Thursday.

Cpl. Brian Stevens, who was visiting his parents in Salmon River, Colchester County, hadn’t been heard from since Saturday night. He was supposed to return to his battalion at CFB Gagetown, N.B., on Sunday afternoon.

“He was located last evening by police officers from Halifax,” Sgt. Dave Darrah of the Colechester County RCMP said. “The officers talked to him and they made a determination that everything was OK with him. He said he wanted to be left alone.”

He said RCMP then contacted Donald and Bonnie Stevens to let them know that their 31-year-old son was safe.

“He’s with people he knows,” a relieved-sounding Mrs. Steven said Thursday. “He’s safe. He’s fine. It’s a family matter.”

Her husband told The Chronicle Herald on Wednesday he was concerned about his son’s mental state. Donald Stevens said his son had recently finished a difficult tour in Afghanistan and left the house without his driver’s licence, bank cards and antidepressant medication.

Mr. Stevens also said his son had bouts of depression and seemed down after six months in Afghanistan last winter. Mr. Stevens said his son had seen lots of dead women and children.

Sgt. Darrah said Cpl. Stevens did not appear to be ill during his encounter with police.

“When the police officers in Halifax interviewed him, they determined there was no difficulty in that area.”

This is the second time in four months that Cpl. Stevens has been reported missing. He was absent without leave for about a month this summer but was eventually picked up by police in Halifax and returned to Gagetown, where he faced disciplinary action, family members said.

The Defence Department had no comment Thursday on the corporal’s military status, a CFB Gagetown spokesman said Thursday.

( sbradley@herald.ca)