March 29 2008
– Police have not ruled out foul play in the case of missing Melbourne bushwalker Warren Meyer and are seeking another man seen in the area where he disappeared last Sunday.
A six-day search of parts of the Yarra Ranges National Park east of Melbourne by around 100 police, State Emergency Service (SES) members and volunteers failed to find any clues to Canadian-born Mr Meyer’s disappearance.
Police said today they were looking for a man in his mid to late 30s who was seen in the Dom Dom Saddle area of the park around the time Mr Meyer, 57, went missing.
Senior Detective Stuart Walls of the Alexandra Crime Investigation Unit, northeast of Melbourne, said today the man police wanted to speak to had approached campers and got a lift with them into nearby Warburton.
He said that parallel to the search, police had been conducting another investigation into the mystery but did not believe Mr Meyer, 57, of Beaumaris in bayside Melbourne, was deliberately involved in his own disappearance.
“We’ve looked at the family, at the structures and the possibility that Mr Meyer could have been involved in his own disappearance – all those sorts of things are always looked at,” Sen Det Walls said.
“We’re more than confident that it is nothing but a dedicated loving family group and that there are no external, emotional or health issues involved. “Mr Meyer, in our view, has not contributed in any way to his disappearance.”
When asked if police suspected foul play, Sen Det Walls replied: “We haven’t ruled anything out yet”.
He said Mr Meyer was an experienced bushwalker in good physical condition and was equipped with a mobile phone and a GPS receiver.
“His disappearance is baffling – Warren had no reason to disappear,” Sen Det Walls said.
“He had no money with him and he loved his family dearly – to not find anything, even his backpack, seems very strange.”
Police are now focusing on other avenues and want to rule out people who were known to be in the area at the time.
“That’s what has led us to make an appeal today regarding this particular man who we have identified was in the same vicinity as Mr Meyer and that there was a crossover,” Sen Det Walls said.
“We’re appealing to any campers who were in the area over the Easter break and who may have been approached by a male in his mid to late 30s and gave him a lift to the the Warburton area.”
My Meyer’s family has asked the media not to contact them saying a family spokesperson will contact the Victoria Police when they are prepared to speak within the next few days.
– Jeff Turnbull