On Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 16-year old Mason MacPhail, a shy teen with Asberger Syndrome, a form of autism, accompanied three friends to an all ages concert for the band Disturbed at the Sound Academy bar on Polson Street in Ontario, Canada.
At some point during the night, he got into an altercation at the club with another concert goer during the concert and Mason was escorted out. He became separated from his friends. Video surveillance shows him stepping outside of the club and in, according to The Star, "an isolated stretch of derelict portlands on the waterfront" at 8 p.m. (also reported in the media as 9:30 p.m.). He was supposed to meet up with his friends in the parking lot at 11:30 p.m., but he never showed up. His body was found two days later in the channel of the Toronto Harbor.
Between 45 and 50 police officers were involved in the search for Mason MacPhail, searching shelters, 24-hour restaurants, and the area around the club, and the water for clues. He is believed to have been carrying some money. He has a bank card, but there’s no evidence he had been to an ATM.
Shortly after 11 a.m., on Thursday, May 28, the body of Mason McPhail was found by police divers in the eastern point of the channel near Polson Pier.
Police studied surveillance video from the club and spotted MacPhail inside the building and in the parking lot.
MacPhail was not familiar with Toronto. He was from a small town and his Asperger Syndrome made it difficult for him to find his way; it is unlikely he would have been able to find his way home.
Facts of Interest
Name/age: Mason MacPhail, 16
Hometown: Peterborough, Ontario
Last Seen: 05/26/09, 8 p.m., 11 Polson Street, Toronto, ON, CAN
Physical Description: White, 5′11″, 160 lbs., Green eyes, Short wavy, dark brown hair, scar on his nose. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a white, long sleeve shirt and running shoes.
Mason McPhail has autism.
Recovered: 05/28/09, Toronto Harbor channel
If you have any information about Mason McPhail, call police at (416) 808-5100 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at (416) 222-TIPS (8477).
680News, Body found in Toronto harbour believed to be missing Peterborough teen, 05/28/09
Canada.com, Police confirm body is Mason MacPhail, 05/28/09
The Star, Body of missing teen is found in Toronto Harbor, 05/28/09
CP 24, Police confirm body recovered is missing teen Mason MacPhail, 05/28/09
Facebook page: Rest in Peace Mason MacPhail
Toronto Police Service, 05/27/09
CityNews.ca, Concern Grows After Autistic Boy Disappears In Toronto, 05/27/09