Since 23-year-old Ryan Robichaud left his family’s home in Canada in January, he’s turned up in Montreal, Boston, Los Angeles and now, possibly, in Westminster, his mother said.
Police in the Orange County city notified the public about the missing man and asked anyone who sees him to alert authorities.
He was last seen in Westminster on March 18, appearing thin and pushing a shopping cart, police said.
Tracy Anne Beeso-Robichaud said her son was involved in a car accident Dec. 31 near his family’s hometown of Burlington, Ontario, about 45 miles northwest of Niagara Falls. Robichaud had few physical injuries from the crash, but in the days afterward, he became quiet and withdrawn and had no memory of the incident, she said.
Beeso-Robichaud, a widow with three other sons, said she came home from work on Jan. 15 and her second-eldest son was nowhere to be found. She thought, or hoped, he had gone snowboarding for the weekend, but she couldn’t call him because his phone had been destroyed in the car accident and he had not yet replaced it.
After days of silence, he called from Boston, sounding distant and confused.
“I never heard my son talk like this. He said, ‘Mom, I have to hear your voice,’” she said. Her son told her that people were listening to his thoughts and that he was being guided by a higher power.
She pleaded with him to return to Burlington: “Tell this higher power to get you home.”
He later called from a Hilton hotel in a Boston suburb. His mother learned that a car rental company dropped him off at a Boston train station. She hoped he was en route to Canada.
“I’m like, is he coming home? Or what?” his mom said.
A few days later, on Jan. 25, Robichaud called from a Staples store in Los Angeles.
“How did you get there,” his mother said she asked him. His reply: “I don’t know.”
At the time, Robichaud was considered a “critical missing person” from Canada, according to court papers. The Los Angeles Police Department was called and picked him up.
That day, Robichaud’s family purchased a plane ticket for him to fly from Los Angeles to Toronto.
An LAPD detective dropped Robichaud off at Los Angeles International Airport late in the afternoon on Jan. 25, according to an affidavit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
“We were waiting at the airport for hours, and nothing,” his mother said. “He tried to call me collect from LAX but my provider doesn’t support it. I was so angry.”
The Canadian investigator assigned to the case, Det. Constable Julie Powers of the Halton Regional Police Service, said the LAPD tracked down Robichaud to a motel in Hawthorne on Jan. 27.
But authorities concluded that “he wished to remain in L.A. of his own accord,” Powers said. Law enforcement in Canada stopped considering him a missing person on Jan. 27.
Meantime, Becker launched an identity theft investigation after Robichaud’s credit card was detected at a string of L.A.-area businesses, including the Loews Hotel and Best Western Hotel on Highland Avenue, a Hollywood Boulevard tattoo parlor, and a furniture store in Mid-City, according to court documents.
Witnesses and surveillance video showed that none of the customers in those purchases was Robichaud. The current status of the LAPD’s identity theft investigation is unclear.
In recent weeks, sightings of Robichaud have been limited and mostly centered in Orange County. His mother confirmed that he paid for a hotel room in Long Beach on Feb. 6 with a different credit card, and the next week he withdrew $43 from a Chase bank in Huntington Beach. Since then, his purchases have dropped off.
“I don’t think he has ID,” she said. “He has no money, no means.”
In early February, Robichaud was baptized at a Huntington Beach church after he arrived with a backpack and a roll-up mat, the pastor told his mother, who received a baptismal certificate in the mail.
Some have reached out directly to Robichaud’s mother, who said her son may appear weathered and much thinner than his usual weight of 140 pounds. One person told her they believe they saw him near Garden Grove Boulevard and Goldenwest Street in Garden Grove.
Anyone with information about Robichaud is asked to contact Westminster Police Det. Norma Vasquez at (714) 548-3815. The family has also set up a fundraising page to defray the costs of finding him.
Beeso-Robichaud said the quest to find her son has been scary and stressful, and she dismisses the notion that he’s consciously choosing to remain away from home. She said she believes the car accident left his thinking impaired.
“He’s a 23-year-old adult. He’s a man, but he’s a boy still,” she said. “I want my son back.”
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