Anton Pilipa has been missing for five years and was recently discovered walking along a highway in Brazil.
Anton was last seen in 2012 in Scarborough. He was known for travelling a lot around Canada via hitchhiking or jumping into the backs of transport trucks. His brother, Stefan Pilipa, described Anton as being an anti-poverty activist. Stefan also explained that he believes his brother suffers from mental health problems.
Anton’s family spent half a decade not knowing where he was. Finally, he was found in Brazil by a Canadian-Brazilian police officer named Helenice Vidigal.
— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) February 8, 2017
After discovering that Anton had no ID, Vidigal decided to speak to him in English. Anton revealed very little to Vidigal, though she did found out he was Canadian. She took this information online and later connected with Anton’s family.
“I thought, if he says he’s Canadian, I’m sure I can find his family,” Vidigal told CBC Toronto.
Afterwards, Anton was brought to a hospital in the Brazilian city of Manaus. Anton’s brother immediately started a crowdfunding campaign that helped him get to Brazil to retrieve his brother.
Prior to his disappearance, Anton was involved in an altercation that led to an assault charge, but went missing before he could appear in court.
CBC Toronto reports that Anton’s family is happy to have him back. Not wanting to press him too much on details, there are still a lot of gaps left regarding Anton’s experiences over the last five years, however, his family reports that he is doing well and recovering. The family hopes to get Anton the help he needs and “help him have the life he deserves.”