'We want him home': Friends and family of missing N.S. navy veteran seek answers

Michael Leo Brown

Family and friends of a navy veteran missing from Tantallon, N.S., continue to search for answers, nearly two weeks after he was last seen.

Halifax District RCMP are asking the public for assistance in locating 49-year-old Michael Leo Brown, who has been missing since May 2.

Brown’s family and friends have been displaying posters around the province, and have also created a Facebook page to help spread the word of his disappearance and ask for more information.

We believe Mike is on foot, presumably with a backpack. He will more than likely have a scarf over his mouth and nose as he was consistent with wearing it since the beginning of the pandemic," says the ‘Help Find Mike’ Facebook page.

“Mike is the kind of person who gives the shirt off his back to anyone, and he’d be out searching for us if it were the other way around, so we’re all going out everyday and doing everything we can,” says Dina Desveaux, who describes herself as a close friend of Brown’s for more than 30 years.

Desveaux says when she last spoke to Brown at the end of March, he had expressed concern about COVID-19, but was in good spirits.

“He was asking his friends to check in on other people who may be lonely or alone, so he was concerned with other people, not himself, which was very typical of Mike,” says Desveaux.

A veteran of the Navy for more than 20 years, Desveaux says Brown suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, which may have been triggered by recent events in the province, such as a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 22 Nova Scotians, and a helicopter crash overseas that claimed the lives of six military members.

“Having PTSD, nobody really knows what is happening in someone’s mind but I think things really escalated around the time of the shootings at Portapique and of course the helicopter crash, because Mike was one of the first responders to Swiss Air,” says Desveaux.

Brown’s friends say he left home without his car, phone, wallet and laptop. But the most concerning thing he left behind was his dog Koru.

“Mike was so dedicated to that dog. He wasn’t always a people person but that dog was his world. So for him to have left that dog behind is incredibly worrying,” says Richard Silver, a close friend of Brown’s.

Brown is described as an avid outdoorsmen who could easily cover a lot of ground on foot.

“Honestly, I don’t think he will be found if he doesn’t want to be found,” says Silver. “He’s an incredibly competent outdoorsman, and he understands a great deal from his military training and his own personal experience about getting through underbrush and making sure that you can’t be tracked.”

Desveaux says Brown doesn’t have any children, but does have several nieces and nephews.

“They all want their Uncle Mikey back and they don’t understand why he’s gone,” says Desveaux.

“Please reach out to us, let us know he’s OK. Koru and the kids miss him so much, and we want him to know that, we want him home and safe.”

Brown is described as a white male, 5-foot-6 and 155 lbs. He has black hair and hazel eyes.

Police ask anyone with information on Michael Brown's whereabouts to contact Halifax District RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

(With files from CTV Atlantic's Allan April)