Man found, mystery remains

By // News | Man found, mystery remains
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

By: Alexandra Paul

Posted: 6:31 AM | Comments:

Corinne Staple holds a picture of her brother, Brent, last year. He contacted her this week.

Enlarge Image

Corinne Staple holds a picture of her brother, Brent, last year. He contacted her this week. (PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES) Photo Store

CORINNE Staple feels overwhelmed.

Her brother, Brent Staple, reported missing nearly four years ago, was found safe and sound, Winnipeg police said Thursday.

But there’s been no teary, heartfelt reunion — at least not yet.

And no explanation for where Brent has been all these years, why he left or answers to his sister’s suspicions that he had a secret life that was the key to his disappearance.

Brent Alexander Staple was 33 when he was last seen June 28, 2009, leaving his apartment block in the first 100 block of University Crescent in the company of an older man with a limp.

For years, Staple said she believed the next time she heard something, it would be devastating.

"You’re prepared for someone to come to the door and say he’s deceased. What happened was the missing person unit called and they came to my work to see me, the detective and a sergeant," she said.

That was Wednesday.

Since then, the only contact with her brother has been through a phone call, a voice on the other end of the line she never expected to hear again.

To say the last 24 hours have been stressful for the Staple family — her parents, older brother and herself — would be an understatement.

"I’m still figuring how I’m feeling. I don’t know right now. There are so many emotions," Staple said Thursday.

She’s spoken to her family and they’re relieved but just as puzzled as she is. "We’re just trying to sit with it, process it."

Fifteen minutes after the call from police, the officers were at her workplace and that’s when Staple found out her brother was alive.

"They said, "We’ve found him. He’s alive and he wants to contact you.’ " Then she waited, for hours, by the phone.

"Two in the morning is when my brother called," she said.

Staple didn’t say how long the call lasted but from her account, it was short. She found herself reassuring him, not the other way around.

"I told him it doesn’t matter why he left. What matters is he’s safe and he’s happy. He just said that he’s sorry he hurt us so much."

Staple said she wants to see her brother face to face but there’s no plan for a reunion, just yet.

"I told him I want to see him but I wasn’t going to push him. I told him I’d wait for him."

As for where her brother is, Staple said she only knows one thing for sure: He isn’t in Winnipeg.

She said she believes he’s out of province and the mystery is overshadowed by the sense of relief.

"Those details don’t matter. They don’t change what’s happened in the last four years. I know he’s alive. He was on the phone with me and that’s all that matters."

In 2012, Winnipeg police issued a press release about unresolved missing persons cases and included Staple. That led to a story in the Free Press in which his sister recounted the details of his disappearance and her discovery the pipefitter had many secrets on his computer that none of his family or friends know about.

"He never told anyone he was gay, but I saw that he was on a lot of intimate chat sites with men. I don’t understand why he didn’t tell me. I have friends in the community and I would have been supportive, but I don’t think the rest of the family would have been supportive and I think that’s why he kept it quiet," Staple said in December.

For years, Staple wondered about the older man with the limp, seen on surveillance footage with her brother leaving his apartment building.

Staple said at the time she believed the secret life her brother led was what ultimately brought the older man into his life, maybe someone he met online. It’s not something they talked about in their first call.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2013 B1

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Canada health report card ranks B.C. first, Nunavut last

British Columbia is home to the healthiest Canadian population, while residents in Newfoundland and Labrador and the three territories are the least healthy, according to ... Full story

B.C. wolf cull will likely last five years, assistant deputy minister says Video

The point man for British Columbia's effort to save endangered mountain caribou says a controversial wolf cull will likely be necessary for the next five ... Full story

William Wise gets twenty-two years in prison for $130M Ponzi scheme

A former Cornwall, Ont., man who once owned an Ontario Hockey League team has been sentenced to almost 22 years in prison by a California ... Full story

Sgt. Mark Salesse: body of missing RCAF member recovered

The family of Sgt. Mark Salesse has confirmed their son's remains were found today in Banff National Park."The door bell rang, and the three military ... Full story

New defence minister Jason Kenney says Canada is open to training Ukrainian forces

The country's new defence minister left the door open Wednesday for Canadian troops to join the U.S. in training Ukrainian forces and for an extension ... Full story

Stephen Harper's new election: Lose one minister, shuffle three

It's been a busy "off-week" on Parliament Hill. First Eve Adams bolted from the Conservatives — after the party abandoned her — to become a ... Full story

Cenovus loss widens to $472 million as oil company cuts spending plans

Cenovus says it plans to cut 15 per cent of its workforce this year and freeze all remaining employee salaries as the oil company posted ... Full story

Dimitri Soudas holds Conservative secrets amid fiancée's move to Liberal Party

Dimitri Soudas held privileged positions in the Conservative Party, including as one of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's closest allies.He went on to become the party's ... Full story

Sydney Academy student dies after being struck by school bus

Cape Breton Regional Police say a student died after being struck by a school bus in front of Sydney Academy on Wednesday afternoon.Witnesses told CBC ... Full story

Canadian army set to train near site of Boko Haram attacks

Canadian special forces are set to take part in a multi-country military training exercise in a part of Western Africa that continues to see attacks ... Full story

Young Canadians need more social spending from governments

A group lobbying governments to focus more on younger Canadians says three to four times less is spent on people under age 45 than people ... Full story

Rate this article


Breaking News

Toronto Blue Jays, Canada's team, begin pursuit of World Series

Canadian baseball fans have been waiting for this day for 22 years. The Toronto Blue Jays begin their first round playoff series and pursuit of ...

Preventable passport problem costs family thousands

A small passport oversight cost this family thousands of dollars and turned their dream vacation into a nightmare. (CBC) A passport snafu has cost a family ...

'Playing for a country': Blue Jays begin playoff push

Canadian baseball fans have been waiting for this day for 22 years. The Toronto Blue Jays begin their first round playoff series and pursuit of ...

Gaffe-prone candidates dropped by parties may remain on ballot

The Conservatives may have dumped Toronto candidate Jagdish Grewal for writing about therapies to turn gay youth straight, but voters in his riding will still be able ...

Deadly Kunduz hospital airstrike: When sorry is not enough

Mark Toner, the suave U.S. State Department spokesman, arrived in the briefing room Monday unprepared for what was coming. Two days earlier, ...

Computer-generated video shows pollution spread across the Prairies

A video produced by scientists at Environment Canada offers a new look at how industrial pollution spreads through the atmosphere and settles on the ground. ...

Fiat Chrysler, United Auto Workers reach tentative agreement

Fiat Chrysler has avoided an expensive strike at its U.S. plants after reaching a tentative labour agreement with the United Auto Workers union. UAW announced ...

Down in the Boondocks singer Billy Joe Royal dead at 73

Billy Joe Royal, who scored a hit with Down in the Boondocks in 1965 and toured nearly continuously in the next 50 years, has died, ...

Rupert Murdoch doesn't think Obama is a 'real black president'

Murdoch, founder of Fox News, tweeted his comment late Wednesday The Associated Press Posted: Oct 08, 2015 12:19 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 08, 2015 12:19 AM ...

Carey Price dominates as Canadiens beat Leafs in opener

Carey Price got to go through the game-day routine he's comfortable with and looked like he hadn't missed a beat from his MVP season. The ...