A Canadian woman who went missing in February under unusual circumstances has been located in France and is now back in Canada with her overjoyed family.
Shannon Mary Sullivan, who worked in pharmacology, went missing in mid-February after suddenly leaving her job in Toronto. She abandoned her condo and everything she owned -- including her cellphone.
Her family in New Brunswick said at the time they feared for the 39-year-old. She had written a few messages shortly after she disappeared, indicating she was fearful for her financial security and that she believed her electronic devices had been hacked.
After a few frantic messages, she went silent. Toronto police began an investigation and learned Sullivan had rented a car from the Amsterdam airport in early March, which she then left in a mall parking lot shortly after.
After her family set up a Facebook page asking for the public’s help in locating her, they received several tips, including one from a Canadian traveller who thought they might have spotted Sullivan in southern France in September.
Her brother, Terence Sullivan, travelled to France at that point to comb through hostels and homeless shelters for Shannon. He was unsuccessful, but now says that trip “laid the groundwork” for his sister to be found.
In a phone call from Toronto police on Nov. 5, Sullivan said he got the good news that his sister was safe and sound in the village of Villeneuve-Loubert, west of Nice, France. He boarded a plane the next morning to meet her and brought her home to Canada.
Sullivan said that finding his sister brought a “great sense of relief obviously coupled with just joy.”
"I saw her and she had a huge smile and I'm sure I welled up,” he said. “I gave her a big hug and I said I'm going to take you home and she said, ‘yeah let's go home.’”
Sullivan said Shannon was unaware the family was looking for her the entire time. He said they still don’t have all the details on what happened, but that’s not what matters.
"Going forward … Shannon will share with us as she feels comfortable sharing and we're just glad to have her home obviously,” he said.
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Mary Cranston in Saint John, N.B.