Friends may be helping Declan hide
AS the search for missing teen Declan Crouch stretches into a ninth day, a police operation using a mannequin and pictures of the boy at the bus stop where he was last seen have failed to turn up new information. Yesterday, Declan’s sister Grace made an emotional plea for the 13-year-old to come home as police suggested friends may be helping him hide. ‘‘ I know you’ve gotten yourself into a mess and don’t know how to get out of it,’’ Grace said. ‘‘ I need you Dec, we all miss you more than you can imagine. Just please come home.’’ Declan disappeared last Wednesday after catching the bus home from Trinity Bay State High School. Investigations indicate he went to his Machans Beach home, changed out of his uniform and then left without any possessions. He has not been in contact with family since or used his bank account or Facebook. Extensive police and SES searches of bushland and crocodileinfested waterways had not uncovered any clues. Yesterday officers manned the Machans Beach bus stop during morning and afternoon rush-hours and displayed a mannequin dressed in black clothes similar to those worn by Declan when he went missing. Declan is 170cm tall with a slim build and collar length hair with a purple rinse through it. Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.