Teen miss­ing for 25hrs in Bowen found in toi­let

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Jes­sica Lamb Madura McCor­mack Kyle Evans

A 14-year-old boy who went miss­ing in Horse­shoe Bay for 25 hours was found af­ter an ea­gle-eyed car­a­van park man­ager spot­ted a cap.

The boy, from Au­gathella in south-western Queens­land, stormed away from the fam­ily car­a­van in Horse­shoe Bay Re­sort about 4pm on Fri­day af­ter an ar­gu­ment.

He was re­ported miss­ing at 8am the next day, spark­ing a mas­sive land and ae­rial search in­volv­ing eight SES vol­un­teers, 20 po­lice of­fi­cers and the RACQ CQ Res­cue he­li­copter.

A po­lice com­mand post was set up at the car­a­van park.

He wasn’t wear­ing any shoes and didn’t have a phone or money on him when he went miss­ing.

Author­i­ties were due to call off the search at dusk as the ter­rain was deemed too treach­er­ous, how­ever the boy was found just be­fore 5.30pm by car­a­van park man­ager Dar­ryl Ben­der.

He said he spot­ted the hat in­side a stor­age block at the back of the park and “knew some­thing wasn’t right”.

“It’s just part of the job I just look around,” he said

“I saw the chairs had been moved and I saw the hat – that’s the only rea­son I seen him.

“I didn’t ap­proach him. I went and grabbed the SES girl.

“He could hardly talk to her, she said ‘yeah, it’s him’ and we went and grabbed

— Dar­ryl Ben­der

the cop­pers.”

Bowen Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Craig Shep­herd ex­pressed re­lief and hap­pi­ness.

It is un­der­stood spir­its were high and the fam­ily had a happy re­union.

The boy was checked and in good health.

The boy’s fam­ily de­clined to com­ment.

I saw the hat – that’s the only rea­son I seen him.

PHOTO: KYLE EVANS

SAFE: The old stor­age room en­trance at the back of a toi­let in which the 14-year-old teenager (in­set photo) was found.

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