The Tweed River, Tweed Heads.
The Tweed River, Tweed Heads. Picasa/Chris Gray

Mystery of missing dad meets a tragic end

WHEN Banora Point couple Leigh Rushton and her husband David Galley discovered a body floating on the Tweed River yesterday they had a feeling it was missing Tweed father Sean Staunton.

The Barellan Drive residents made the grim discovery about 7.30am, when they saw an object floating about 50m off-shore, just opposite their riverfront home.

Surf lifesavers, the Tweed Volunteer Rescue squad and the SES recovered the body, which had been stuck on a sand bank, bringing it to shore about 9.35am.

By the end of the day police had confirmed that the body had been identified as 35-year old Mr Staunton, who went missing last Thursday near Chinderah.

Authorities began a major search operation for Mr Staunton after his five-year-old son was found floating unconscious in the river off Chinderah Bay Drive.

He was revived by an off-duty nurse and taken to Brisbane's Mater Hospital.

The boy has since been released from hospital and was expected to be questioned by police yesterday.

Mr Staunton's car and boat trailer were located on Thursday night, in a car park not far from where his son was found.

A life jacket was handed in by a member of the public to a Volunteer Marine Rescue crew member on Sunday and police were investigating whether it was linked to Mr Staunton's disappearance.

Police said they were still investigating all avenues as to what occurred on the afternoon Mr Staunton took his son out on the river.

The asked any witnesses who may have seen Mr Staunton and his son fishing from a small, light blue dinghy between midday and 3pm Thursday to contact Tweed Heads police or Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000.

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