Thursday 17 March 2011

Mannequin of missing Machans Beach boy displayed

13-year-old Declan Crouch of Machans Beach, has been missing for seven days, with no trace.

This morning a mannequin dressed in clothing similar to Declan Crouch, will be displayed in the small beachside community of Machans, just north of Cairns airport, with a hope that it will prompt witnesses to come forward. Cairns Police want the mannequin to spark any memory about the missing 13-year-old boy.

Declan left Trinity Bay State High school last Wednesday afternoon on his usual 3pm bus, returning home to Machans Beach. His school bag and uniform were found at his house.

Over 1,000 have signed up to a Facebook page to help find Declan. It was created by friends and fellow students. Brooke Angel Day, Adam Cooper, Liam Gartner, Grace Davies, Chloe Jane, Alanah Brons, Kristy Scales, Caity Finegan and Caitlin Louise, want people to post messages of support and share their stories. "Until he is found, show your support," they say.

"I am a mother of 2 boys, only 4 and 7," writes Victoria Wilson of Cairns. "I hope you're out there mate and safe, its so upsetting for everyone. I don't know the family but I was in tears this morning listening to the report on the radio. I hope there is some information found for the family soon. Thinking of the family and friends."

Meanwhile, another Facebook page has 1,500 followers. Both pages have a 'frown' emoticon :'< as a symbol.

Cairns Police and SES volunteers are still searching bushland around Machans Beach, and suggestions circle about possibilities of a drowning or a crocodile attack. Detectives have now been engaged in the search. He has not used his Facebook page since he went missing a week ago, and is thought to have no money.

Leads have been exhausted and searches of nearby bushland have uncovered no clues. Police have admitted they're baffled by the disappearance.

"It is highly concerning that this boy hasn't been seen for over a week. As time goes on, the concern levels increase," Acting Detective Inspector Edward Kinbacher said. "There has been no information received as to his movements since he was last seen."

A search around Declan's home, near the Barron River, didn't turn up anything yesterday.

"The investigation will now focus on a conventional investigation with a view to rebuild his movements ... But, quite simply, we have no information from that last sighting," Kinbacher said. "He is a normal teenage boy who had a normal relationship with his parents and had had a normal day. This boy quite simply could have run away to reasons best known to himself or there could be suspicious circumstances. The investigation is not closing off any potential explanation. Interviews with his classmates have turned up nothing."

Many young children run away from their home every week, a policeman from the District Crime Prevention office told CairnsBlog.

"We have a lot of kids run away," Cairns Senior Constable Russ Parker said. "We could have several a day sometimes, and we've got our habitual run-aways, but we usually know who they are, but it's unusual for a young lad like this to go missing for so long."

Declan is described as around 170cm tall, slim build with collar length brown hair over his eyes. He may be wearing black or maroon basketball shorts and a black t-shirt.

The following Facebook pages have sprung up in support...


MG said...

Keep pushing this Mike - Declan needs to be found.

The more people we reach the more hope there is of finding out exactly what transpired last wednesday afternoon and his movements tracked.

Good to see the classmates are helping try and find him. It must be extremely distressing for the family friends and students

KitchenSlut said...

What concerns me most about this is that in recent months there has been an enquiry about the well publicised dissappearance of Daniel Morcombe on the Sunshine Coast.

The parents there have criticised the delay in the police response. This wasn't a criticism of police but rather the criteria for a 'missing person'. Similarly here the delay appears to have been some days before it started to hit the media?

I didn't post that thought before as I thought it inappropriate but it must be raised i think?

Unknown said...

I think the issue with delay in police investigations are the logistical issues they face. I would be fairly certain they do not have the resources to chase up every missing person immediately.

I think the parents of a missing child are the people least likely to be objective about this.

whoops....I just did what probably everyone else does...'The criteria for missing person' is what is under criticism. That's a different story :)

I guess I will still this post for posterity.

Warren Entsch said...

I'm for disbanding police and having 100% freedom of info.... thiswill befar superior for outcomes...