blue timberlands ‘It was God’s time to take him’
Sudbury man died a day or two after he went missing, autopsy indicates
A Sudbury man whose body was found Jan. 14 likely died shortly after disappearing in early November.
Sherri Lockman said she was apprised of post mortem results for her son Tyler Haney earlier this week, and while an exact cause of death was not available, there were indications the 27 year old had lain in the spot he was discovered for a couple of months.
“By the autopsy and everything that was seen with the forensics unit, he had been there probably a day or two after he went missing,” said Lockman.
Haney, reported missing Nov. 11, was found in a wooded area behind Centennial Arena in Hanmer by an individual on an ATV.
Lockman said her son often frequented this very patch of bush while growing up in the Valley.
While she wasn’t able to visit the site earlier, as soon as the autopsy was completed Tuesday, she went to the spot he was found to say goodbye and seek closure.
“Once I went there and saw it, I’ve confirmed and I am at peace with it all,” she said. “The rest of my life I’m going to be grieving for my son, and same with my other children, but I have closure. I know he’s at peace. And I know he’s with my mom, who was everything to him.”
Lockman has been candid about her son’s struggles with depression and substance use in recent years, but doesn’t believe he was suicidal. He had also made strides to get clean and as far as she understood was not abusing drugs prior to his death.
Unfortunately, she will never know exactly what contributed to his death, as the forensic pathology unit “couldn’t get any toxicology from the body,” she said. “But they knew he was there for a long period of time.”
She said her own hunch is “he wanted to clear his head and get away from everything,” and the wooded area was somewhere he “felt safe. He grew up there, went biking there, it was very familiar.”
At this point, the precise cause of death is almost irrelevant to her, she said.
“He’s gone, and there was definitely no foul play,” she said. “It was God’s time to take him. I truly believe God has a reason for all of us on this Earth and when it’s our time, it’s our time.”
A funeral is now set for Saturday at St. tomorrow at Lougheed Funeral Home in Hanmer.
Lockman said family members are flocking in, with some coming from as far away as Balmerton and Red Lake.
Serving as pallbearers will be Tyler’s uncles Darren, Dwayne and Greg Haney, along with cousins Noah, Mackenzie and Kelly.
His grandmother Jean Haney, whom Tyler adored, is also travelling from Atikokan to attend the funeral.
Tyler grew up in Hanmer, “playing hockey and loving the outdoors,” according to his obituary.
He had “a giant heart and always thought of others before himself,” it reads. “His biggest joys in life came from surrounding himself with family and friends, and watching the Leafs.”
Lockman said “it’s been a very trying 66 days, and then no answers for two weeks, because they had to thaw the body gradually for the autopsy,” but finally she feels like she can breathe and let go.
Her best friend Brandy Coulson, who came from Atikokan to be at her side, has been a godsend in the past couple of weeks, she said.
“She’s been my secretary, cooking for me, helping prep for the funeral,” she said. “And the community in the Valley has been amazing with their support.”
Once the snow leaves, Lockman said she and Tyler’s younger siblings, as well as his dad, will return to the spot where he was found.
“That will be his memorial spot,” she said. “In the spring we’ll put up a cross where he was and go for family walks there and remember him. He touched many people’s lives and he’ll be with us forever.”.