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Disappearance of Darren Werner shrouded in mystery, says investigator


October 5, 2021
By Canadian Press

Sept. 30, 2021, Ontario – Det.-Sgt. Richard Gauthier says he has no idea what happened to Darren Werner. “It’s so bizarre, people don’t just disappear without a trace like this,” Gauthier said in an interview Wednesday.

Werner was last seen on Sept. 16.

Gauthier has been put in charge of Werner’s case and he says it has consumed his life. “I’m losing sleep over this now because it doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “It does not make sense, it does not make sense,” the detective repeated.

As of now, Niagara Regional Police do not suspect foul play was involved in Werner’s disappearance. The void of information police have on the situation is unusual.

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“In my 25 years of experience I can honestly say this is a first.” Gauthier said police agencies are on alert across the province for signs of Werner. The detective stressed that Werner is in no legal trouble.

Gauthier said the police have no tangible leads. Gauthier said it could be that Werner went somewhere and suffered a medical emergency, leaving him incapable of contacting anyone.

More mystery abounds when considering the unknown vehicle Werner was reportedly seen getting into.

“We don’t know who was driving, we don’t know what kind of car it was, we don’t know what colour it was and we don’t even know if this car exists,” he said. “We’re in the process of combing through CCTV cameras in the area to see if we can find this car, which is a needle in a haystack.”

Werner’s family has told police he left with only his cellphone and his wallet, Gauthier said. He was hesitant to comment on whether Werner was in debt due to the massive fire that consumed his property on Townline Road earlier this year.

Gauthier said a canvassing of Werner’s social life only revealed positive comments about his behaviour. “He is liked by everyone. He lights up a room, he’s a jovial character. There’s nothing to suggest he was in a bad state of mind,” he said. “There’s no reason why this guy would disappear right now.”

Gauthier said if something happened to Werner, it could be very hard to identify him if a lot of time elapses.

“It happens all the time here in Niagara Falls. Having been a detective here for five years, I could blow your mind if I showed you how many unidentified human remains we have of people that have either fallen into the gorge or end up in the water and wash up on shore. It takes years to identify these people.”

Having said that, Gauthier stressed that there’s no reason to suspect Werner is in any way injured or dead.


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