Friends may be help­ing De­clan hide

Townsville Bulletin - - News - De­clan Crouch

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.

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