Miss­ing Cairns boy’s fam­ily calls for him to come home

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

T H E f a m i l y o f a 13-year-old boy who has been miss­ing for more than a week is hold­ing on to hope he is in hid­ing some­where with friends.

De­clan Crouch has been miss­ing since leav­ing his fam­ily home at Machans Beach, north of Cairns, last Wed­nes­day.

Po­lice have re­ceived a num­ber of re­ported sight­ings of the teenager but so far none of them have been con­firmed.

De­clan’s sis­ter Grace yes­ter­day said the fam­ily hoped De­clan was hid­ing with friends and pleaded with him to come home.

‘‘ He’s prob­a­bly scared to come home. This is ev­ery­where right now so he prob­a­bly thinks he is in trou­ble. We just want him to know that he’s not – that we’re just re­ally wor­ried about him,’’ she said in Cairns.

‘‘ If he’s with any­one they need to know that it’s not fun any­more, it’s not a joke and t h e y n e e d t o s e n d h i m home,’’ she said.

She said the dis­ap­pear­ance was out of char­ac­ter for her lit­tle brother.

‘‘ He’s never done any­thing like this be­fore.’’

Cairns Child Pro­tec­tion off i c e r i n c h a r g e S e n i o r Sergeant Glenn Ho­ran said the un­con­firmed sight­ings of De­clan had raised the hopes of po­lice.

‘‘ It gives us some hope that De­clan is still around and for his own rea­sons doesn’t want to be found,’’ he said.

S e a r c h e s o f b u s h l a n d around Machans Beach have failed to turn up any trace of De­clan and in­ter­views with his friends have given no in­di­ca­tion of where he might be.

Spe­cial­ist child pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers were be­ing sent from Bris­bane to help.

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