Unravelling the mystery: Where has Harold Backer been for 18 months?
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, April 17, 2017 6:24PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, April 17, 2017 7:07PM PDT
Harold Backer, a former financial adviser on Vancouver Island, disappeared into thin air 18 months ago and just as mysteriously reappeared in the front lobby of the Victoria Police Department last week.
Backer had been on the lam for a year-and-a-half, but a few days after turning himself in to police, the questions about his vanishing act are louder than ever.
“What has Harold been doing for the last 500 days or so?” Olympic rowing colleague Adam Kreek said. “That mystery will I guess slowly unravel as time progresses.”
The Victoria man was last seen in November 2015, when he told his wife he was going for a bike ride and never returned home.
Surveillance video from Port Angeles, Wash. showed a cyclist, thought to be Backer the day he left, in the U.S. city.
“Now I don’t think anyone had any real proof, but that was just the speculation that he would go somewhere to try and disappear, as much as a 6’4” tall blond man can disappear,” said Kip McDaniel, Backer’s former rowing colleague.
Backer sent his clients a letter telling them he’d lost some of their investments. Many of his clients were friends and mentors from the rowing community.
One of Backer’s brothers told CTV News Backer contacted family members days or weeks before he turned himself in. The family won’t comment on where he’s been or how he survived.
VicPD won’t issue a mugshot of Backer, but a rowing friend says he’s received an email from one of Backer’s investors who was told Backer looked like he had lost weight and had been camping.
The former investment adviser remains in police custody and faces two charges of fraud over $5,000.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
With files from CTV Vancouver Island’s Robert Buffam