Family of missing man: 'we won't give up'
THURSDAY marked a year since Goondiwindi man Terry Lloyd went missing.
Twelve months on and his family are still searching for answers.
The 51-year-old Goondiwindi man was last seen in the Western Downs town on November 24 last year.
On their Facebook page, Help us Find our dad - Terry Lloyd, the family wrote the unexplained disappearance of their father would never get easier and they missed their father terribly.
"Moments aren't the same and life has this void that makes us all feel uneasy and empty," they wrote.
"Who would have thought we would be sitting here one year on, with still no answers and no leads since Dad's car was found crashed into a tree in the Piliga forest?"
Mr Lloyd's black Toyota Rav4 later found abandoned near a service station 150km south of Narrabri.
The family wrote they were grateful to have the support of many people in the Goondiwindi community and further afield.
"One of the most positive things to come out of this situation, are the amount of stories and love from people all over Australia that they have shared with us," they wrote.
"We thank the police and emergency services for their hard work and especially the public, for sharing our story and for being there for us.
"Dad is nothing short of an inspiration and from what we know/have heard, he always has been.
"You could not find a more supportive, loving and caring person than our Dad and that is something we will all hold close to our hearts and go on to tell our own children when we speak of him in everyday life.
"Dad will always hold a special place in our hearts and will forever be in our thoughts. It's a hard journey for us all, and not knowing is harder."
Mr Lloyd's daughter, Kayla Johnson, had previously said her father's struggle with bipolar disorder could have played a role in his disappearance.
"Dad suffered a lifetime of mental illness which resulted in a life time of people doubting who he was and always assuming he was mentally incapable of doing anything," Mrs Johnson wrote.
"Although at times he was in a rough mind-set, he was still the strongest and smartest person we all knew and that was something many people couldn't understand or get past as soon as they heard the words "mental illness".
"He suffered silently because he wanted to deal with it himself.
"The saddest part was hearing people disregard the efforts we put in to search for Dad, including some making comments like "Oh, he isn't all there, he has just gone and got lost" or "oh he had a mental illness" as if that's it. Case closed.
"I'm sorry but that is just not good enough. We will never settle for this as the only answer we will ever get. As if it is some kind of closure.
"Yes, Dad had a mental illness but this was just one part of him. It did not define who he was."
Mrs Johnson said her father had decided he wanted to voluntarily admit himself to the care of professionals to get the care and support he deserved until he was well enough to come home to his family.
She said the family had been turned back from the hospital and the family went home.
"We travelled home that night and as soon as we arrived home, Dad went inside, got his car keys, said that he was just going to get fuel and food and finished the conversation with "I love you"," Mrs Johnson said.
"Little did we know that, that would be the last time any of us would see him or get the chance to tell him how much we love him."
The family said they want to bring light to mental health issues to make it easier for other Australian families affected by mental illness.
"If it is one thing we bring to the table from this situation it is that Australia has so many people silently suffering with mental illnesses," they wrote.
"Australia also has so many people who are uneducated in the matter, and do not show the empathy and support needed.
"The only was to improve this is to speak about it. Don't be afraid to ask someone, "are you ok" and be prepared to sit and listen to an honest answer without any judgement."
"Dad, we miss you so much.
"We love you, and we will be forever searching for you and answers.
"We won't give up."