Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

A DEV­AS­TATED fa­ther of two girls ab­ducted by their mother, knows bet­ter than most the grief a per­son goes through when search­ing for miss­ing peo­ple.

Michael Wat­ter has been search­ing for his girls Bronte and Is­abella, since they were taken from his home by the girls’ mother Cather­ine Wat­ter in April 2014.

Po­lice have looked all over the coun­try for the girls, who would now be 10 and may be go­ing by dif­fer­ent names. There is ev­i­dence there are sev­eral peo­ple fund­ing Mrs Wat­ter in her at­tempt to hide from po­lice, who have is­sued a war­rant for her ar­rest.

Mr Wat­ter said it was ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to think about where his girls were.

“It’s a dif­fi­cult time. These weeks and events re­mind you of the amount of things I’ve missed out on, and it brings all of those emo­tions back to the sur­face again,” Mr Wat­ter said.

“I ap­peal to those peo­ple who do know some­thing to come for­ward. It’s been a long time, the girls are still be­ing held as hostages es­sen­tially.

“They are miss­ing out on an­other month, an­other year of a nor­mal child­hood, and they need to come home.

“We speak to po­lice and try to prompt them to try new things, be­cause this has been go­ing on for so long, and it’s hard to keep run­ning into brick walls.”

The search for miss­ing peo­ple is a hard slog with po­lice ded­i­cat­ing a large amount of re­sources lo­cally and across the state.

De­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant Phil Watts said the search could be dif­fi­cult but new tech­nol­ogy had helped.

“Miss­ing per­sons cases al­ways re­main open un­til we find them. There may not be the same amount of re­sources as they get older, but they’re al­ways still open.

“In­for­ma­tion from the pub­lic is what we re­ally rely on and we do at times have as­so­ciates be­ing un­truth­ful with us, which does ham­per it.

“There’s noth­ing for any­one to fear or to want to try to hide some­one’s lo­ca­tion. All we want to do is make sure they’re safe and put their fam­ily’s mind at ease.”

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