The search for a West Kelowna man came to a “heartbreaking conclusion” this week, police announced Wednesday.
“The body found off of Elk Road on March 26 has been identified as that of Andrew Lalonde who had gone missing from his home around Jan. 17,” said Const. Kris Clark, adding that foul play was not suspected.
“Our thoughts are with the family in their time of grief.”
Regional Coroner Mark Coleman said further analysis is needed for Lalonde’s cause of death to be made clear, however, it appears as though he had been deceased for some time.
Lalonde was coming off seven days of binge drinking when he was last seen, and when a plea for sightings was issued at an RCMP press conference it was highlighted as a significant concern.
Lalonde’s sister Jessie told media he’d been showing signs of mental distress—namely hallucinating and having fearful, paranoid thoughts—which she attributed to detoxing.
The next afternoon, Jan. 18, she went to his trailer in West Kelowna to see how he was doing, and found the front door open, lights on and all important items left behind.
It was behaviour that immediately disturbed family members, despite previous erratic behaviour associated with a long history of alcoholism.
“He hasn’t worked and doesn’t have a network of friends,” she said, pointing out it was unlikely he’d just gone to spend time with friends.
He’d also tapped out local resources, she said, which prompted recent stints in Victoria rehab centres as well.
It’s unclear whether the drinking was masking a deeper issue, being as doctors wouldn’t diagnose or treat mental or emotional disorders until a patient has been clean and sober for a certain amount of time.