Jeremy Deutsch / Tri-Cities Now
July 2, 2014 12:00 AM
As the months pass since Shin Noh was last seen leaving his Coquitlam home for a walk, his family’s anguish has turned to advocacy.
The Noh family continues to push the province to implement a Silver Alert program. The Nohs are also supporting a petition started by a group of community members and volunteers who have helped search for Shin all these months.
The petition, called Start the Silver Alert in BC, is addressed to Health Minister Terry Lake.
The online effort had nearly 1,000 supporters within a week of being launched.
Noh’s son Sam said he hopes the petition will help create momentum for the government to act.
“There’s this online petition. It’s not going to be accepted by the B.C. legislature, but wow, the public is still engaged – that’s what the online petition will demonstrate,” he told the Tri-Cities NOW.
In February, Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson brought forward a private member’s bill calling on the government to implement a Silver Alert program. Like the Amber Alert used for missing children, the bill would create a program that would alert the public of a missing person, likely a senior, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of cognitive impairment.
Sam said he recently met with local MLA Linda Reimer and the province’s senior advocate, who he said told him they see a need for the program, but also have concerns.
While he said he understands the concerns, he noted other jurisdictions in North America have worked through the issues and enacted Silver Alert programs.
Ontario has a Silver Alert program, as do nearly three dozen U.S. states. The first Silver Alert program started in Oklahoma in 2005.
“It’s time. Somebody had to bring this up and it may as well be us,” Sam said.
“We, as a family, advocate strongly for this. It’s going to take some time but I’m going to make sure it’s going to happen.”
As for the search for Shin, the family said there is no news on his whereabouts.
Shin was last seen by his wife on the morning of Sept. 18, 2013, before he left his house near Lansdowne Drive and Guildford Way for his morning walk.
In the days and weeks that followed, the community rallied and formed large search parties, scouring the Tri-Cities and other parts of the Lower Mainland, acting on possible sightings.
The family has offered a $10,000 reward in the hopes it might lead to more clues to the missing man’s whereabouts.
Sam noted the family still gets calls about sightings from time to time, but has become good at filtering out the credible tips.
“It’s a dark cloud over our heads right now, trying to move forward with life,” Sam said. “Thoughts of him are constantly on our minds right now.”
For more information on the Silver Alert petition and the search for Shin Noh, go to shin-noh.ca.
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