Emotional time for families
POLICE hold grave concerns for the welfare of Northern Rivers man Leslie Graham “Jack” Lewis who was last seen in Thailand in February this year.
Distraught family members have released photographs and appealed for any information of his whereabouts as national Missing Persons Week gets underway throughout Australia this week.
Mr Lewis left Australia from Perth for a holiday in Thailand in February this year and travelled to the remote Nong Khai Province located near the Laos border.
Richmond Local Area Command investigations manager, Detective Sergeant Matt Kehoe, said Mr Lewis was last seen on February 24 after leaving a local guesthouse.
“Investigators from the Australian Federal Police’s Bangkok office are assisting NSW Police with enquiries, but we have grave concerns for his welfare,” Det Sgt Kehoe said.
“This case highlights the emotional and physical toll on families along with the time and resources required to investigate these matters to provide some answers.
“The sense of the unknown can be difficult to deal with and can leave family and friends with the torment of unanswered questions that can go on for years and in some cases indefinitely.”
Det Sgt Kehoe said the Richmond Local Area Command currently has eight missing persons cases of which seven are old cases, stretching back as far as 1972 and one is current.
The ages of the missing persons vary from a 14-year-old girl to a 57-year-old man.
Anyone with information about Mr Lewis, or any missing person can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Lismore police on 02 6626 0599
Missing person stats
35,000 people are reported missing in Australia every year
11,000 people are reported missing in NSW
Police continue to investigate the 617 long term missing person cases in NSW
95 per cent are located within a short period of time (usually one week).
That is one person every 15 minutes
For every person reported missing 12 people are affected, including family members, friends, work colleagues and the wider community.
As a result, each year almost half a million people in Australia feel the impact when someone goes missing
Most common reasons: conflicts within families and other relationships, mental illness, natural disaster or through suspicious circumstances.
Police encourage community members to make a missing persons report ASAP, if there are fears for the safety of an individual and their whereabouts is unknown.