Missing pieces

Journalism, integrity and mental health

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  • Published 20170801
  • ISBN: 9781925498417
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

FOR FIVE DAYS over late August and early September in 2016, a strange case gripped the Australian media. A family of five abruptly went missing from their rural property east of Melbourne. They left their house unlocked, and all potential trace elements behind: phones, credit cards and identification documents. Keys were left in the ignitions of remaining cars.

The alarm was first sounded by one of the three adult children, around twenty-four hours after their disappearance, when he disembarked from what turned out to be an ill-fated road trip near Bathurst in central New South Wales, some eight hundred kilometres from their home. The two remaining daughters were quickly located after they stole a vehicle to escape; one of them later turned up in the back of a man’s ute, to the shock of the driver after he’d driven another hour away. Their mother was found the following day, wandering the streets of Yass, near Canberra; two days later, the father was discovered, safe but dehydrated, on the outskirts of the north-eastern Victorian town of Wangaratta.

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