Teen missing for 25hrs in Bowen found in toilet
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
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.
SAFE: The old storage room entrance at the back of a toilet in which the 14-year-old teenager (inset photo) was found.