By Jennifer Hoegg
Kimberly Smith may have been the last friend to see Mark Clarke.
The 34-year-old Canning-area man was reported missing last week and Kings District RCMP issued a press release Feb. 10 asking for the
“On Monday – Feb. 4 – it was like several of the times he would drop over – we live on J. Jordan Road in Canning,” Smith said Feb. 12. “Monday was a little different. Instead of asking me for money, he said ‘can you take me to Kentville? I’ve got $5 for gas’.”
Smith said that was the only thing out of place on that sunny, cold morning.
“He was his typical buoyant, ‘How you doing, Kim?’" he said. “He was always upbeat.”
“He was a town and village character,” Smith added.
Smith first got to know Clarke about four years ago, when he offered free video workshops in the village. Clarke was a participant.
“He was actually very talented,” Smith recalled. “He told me he had gone to broadcast journalism school in … Ontario.
“I don’t know what happened with his history. It’s not all happy,” Smith added.
“When I had met him, he had just recently moved back home to Canning. He had been in Calgary and he had been homeless there.”
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When Smith dropped his friend off in Kentville, they were making plans to make web videos.
“I said, ‘you would be a really great on camera personality’,” Smith said. “He can sight read really well.
“He was funny and weird and fully in control of what he was doing. Being in front of a camera would have been a good job for him. He created this character called Clark Kent” in the improvised video workshops, Smith added.
Clarke didn’t say where he was going on Feb. 4, but Smith said he typically visited friends and “did his rounds” in Kentville.
Smith said he was surprised to see reports on Facebook last weekend Clarke was missing and he called police to report his last encounter with the man.
“I don’t know where he is. I have no idea,” Smith said.
He said he is concerned Clarke may have had a seizure while walking from Kentville to Canning.
“His seizures can happen so suddenly and easily,” Smith said.
He might have taken several roads between Kentville and the Canning and Hillaton areas, Smith added.
“If the police were to drive along those routes carefully…” Smith said. “They know him. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
He was always upbeat. Kimberly Smith on his friend Mark Clarke
As of late afternoon Feb. 12, RCMP Const. Blair MacMurtery said there were no further updates on the file.
Clarke is Caucasian, approximately five foot 10 inches tall, weighs approximately 160 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. When last seen, Clarke had long sideburns and full goatee.
He was wearing a canvas-type, insulated winter coat; insulated, brown, canvas hiking boots; jeans and gloves. Anyone with information is asked to call the nearest police department or New Minas RCMP, 902-679-5555.
People can also pass on information on anonymously through Open Arms in Kentville at 300-1729.