Freedom of Information requests have shown more than 200 people have walked away from the Forensic Psychiatric Institute on Colony Farm Road in Coquitlam, over the last nine years.
Dave Teixeira, who speaks for family of Darcie Clark whose three children were killed by Allan Schoenborn, says the numbers in the documents he requested are actually higher.
“The 220 instances that are in the documents that I have obtained are not complete. The RCMP have admitted that anyone who is still at large, and that is between 20 and 40 people believe it or not, are not listed on here. Also there is a number of files that have been redacted at the request of Colony Farm and so even the RCMP cannot release this information.”
Teixeira says more concerning is the fact Colony Farm replied it would not comment, when asked if Allan Schoenborn is among the people who have walked away from the facility.
He says the documents show Colony Farm is ill-equipped to handle security for the people it houses.
But the Forensic hospital says Teixeira has it wrong.
Angela Draude, Provincial Executive Director of Forensic Psychiatric Services, says the allegation that 20-40 people are missing from the hospital is baseless.
“We do have one lady that’s still in the community that technically has gone off our warrant. So she is the one left out there, but otherwise we have no patients unaccounted for.”
That one missing patient is Violet Miharija, who walked away from the hospital in February.
In response to Teixeira’s concerns about the possibility of Schoenborn being among the people to have just walked away from the facility Draude replied Schoenborn has been issued day passes, but never used them.
She says passes into the community are a crucial part of rehabilitating patients, and that most of the walk aways were not escape attempts but people who had failed to return on time.
She adds the hospital has improved risk assessment of patients and cut the number of walk aways significantly in recent years.
Asked if she could understand the community’s concern that public notifications aren’t issued whenever a patient fails to return, Draude says the hospital does notify police who make the decision about telling the public, but…
“I certainly understand why the questions come forward, and it’s probably somethign we can talk to our police partners about, on how that process actually unfolds.”
The Forensic Psychiatric Institute houses people found not criminally responsible due to mental illness.