THE father of missing British-Australian man Gary Tweddle has returned to the United Kingdom with few answers as the search for his son in the Blue Mountains passes the three week mark.
Gary Tweddle, 23, was last seen in the vicinity of the Fairmont Resort in Leura on July 16 after attending a conference with work colleagues. Mr Tweddle made contact with friends shortly after midnight and told them that he was lost in bushland before the call was terminated.
Gary’s father David, a member of the British armed forces, travelled to Australia to join the search for his son several weeks ago. He returned to the United Kingdom yesterday, calling the decision to return home without his son “horrendous.”
David Tweddle said: “”The place is so vast, the ravines and gullies are so deep, it is extremely difficult to find someone in those circumstances. It’s the not knowing which is the really difficult part. To speculate is really difficult for me.
“The hardest thing for me personally was the moment the plane took off from Sydney – that was horrific. I won’t ever go back to Australia – I always hold out hope but the reality is acceptance now. I couldn’t ask for anything more from the emergency services and the people of Australia.”
Mr Tweddle thanked all of those involved in the search for his son, which was one of the largest operations in Blue Mountains history. New South Wales Police announced this week that they would scale back the search effort, however Gary’s case would still be pursued by local detectives.
Police efforts to locate Gary by tracking his phone were revealed to have failed this week, with the phone’s lack of battery power preventing a search. Police also contacted both Apple and Google in the United States of America to determine whether Gary attempted to use Google Maps around the time of his disappearance, however this line of investigation was unsuccessful.
Gary’s girlfriend Anika Haigh, 23, made a public appeal for any information leading to the whereabouts of her long-time partner. She asked local residents to check their homes and properties on the chance that Gary may have sought shelter nearby.
Ms Haigh said: “I want people to look in their backyards, in their sheds. Gary might have hit his head and crawled under someone’s house – we just don’t know. You can’t just disappear off the face of the earth. This boy didn’t want to go missing. None of us believe that. Somewhere, someone must know something.”
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Gary Tweddle should contact Crimestoppers or Katoomba Police on +612 4782 8199.