Andrew Neil BOURKE
|Name:||BOURKE Andrew Neil||Sex:||Male|
|Year of Birth:||1967||Age Now:||45|
|At Time of Disappearance|
|Hair Colour:||Brown||Eye Colour:||Blue/Grey||Complexion:||Ruddy|
|Andrew has been missing since 30/7/2011 from Gundagai NSW|
TEARS welled up in the eyes of Tim Markham as he remembered his friend Andrew Bourke, who went missing while camping along the banks of the Tumut River last year.
Mr Bourke, 44, had been camping with a friend at Brungle, south of Gundagai, on July 29, 2011, when he reportedly drove his ute into the Tumut River just after midnight.
While his friend, who was sitting beside him in the passenger’s seat, managed to escape the sinking vehicle and swim to shore, Mr Bourke did not.
Despite police and search and rescue crews scouring the river, Mr Bourke’s body has never been located.
As the first anniversary of Mr Bourke’s disappearance nears, his former workmate of almost 20 years Tim Markham said he and a few friends would be taking a trip out to the campsite at Brungle to pay their respects to a mate who “went fishing”.
“It would be really nice to have closure,” Mr Markham said.
“It feels like there is no resolution at the moment.”
Mr Bourke was the youngest of 15 children and leaves behind a wife and two sons.
Cootamundra Local Area Command acting crime manager Inspector Stephen Radford said while the investigation into the disappearance had spanned almost a year, the incident has not been classed as suspicious.
“Given the conditions of the river it is not unusual for bodies to go missing,” he said.
“We’ll attempt to search the river when it gets down to an appropriate level.”
Mr Bourke’s qualification as a certified glazier still hangs proudly on the wall of O’Brien Glass, where he had worked for 10 years.
A memento from his memorial service sits behind the workshop’s front counter.
While Mr Markham said the days following his co-worker’s disappearance were “very hard to cope with”, he would not be one to push for an inquest.
He fondly remembers the last time he spoke with Mr Bourke – the day before he set off on the camping trip that would inevitably claim his life.
“He called in to the branch with his ute all loaded up, really chipper,” Mr Markham recalled.
“He was a very busy person and extremely happy and fun.
“He was a little tough nut.”
Inspector Radford said after Mr Bourke had been missing for three months, a sample of his DNA and dental records were sent to the missing persons unit.
When police have exhausted their search, he said they will make a recommendation to the coroner, outlining the outcome of their investigation.