October 9, 2014
Year of birth:1978
on left cheek
On 9 October 2014 Attila Bogar attended his mother’s address
in Avondale Heights Victoria. He was in a distressed and paranoid state.
Attila then left the address in the evening and drove his vehicle towards
Sydney. He made a phone call to his family from Sydney on 10 October 2014
saying he was heading home and was just getting something to eat.
He has not been seen or heard from since.
On 17 October 2014 Attila’s vehicle was located abandoned near bushland on
Picton Road, Picton NSW with his belongings inside.
Police and SES conducted extensive searches of the surrounding bushland
which were unsuccessful.
If you have information that may assist police to locate Attila please call
Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Missing man Attila Bogar: police appeal for information
A week-long search in bushland near Cataract and Cordeaux dams has failed to
find any trace of a man whose car was found abandoned on Picton Road last
Attila Bogar, a 35-year-old man from the Melbourne suburb of Avondale Heights,
was last seen on October 9.
Police believe Mr Bogar may have been in Wollongong on October 10.
A multi-agency search for the man was sparked on Friday October 17 by the
discovery of his car - a grey Audi Q3 - on Picton Road at Cataract.
Members of the police rescue squad and the State Emergency Service scoured the
area over the weekend and all this week, but have not located Mr Bogar.
Carly Heard, a friend of Mr Bogar, contacted the Mercury on behalf of his family
to plead for any information on his disappearance.
‘‘His friends and family are concerned for his safety. We appeal for anyone who
knows something, or for Attila, to contact police,’’ Ms Heard said.
‘‘He is a very family-oriented man with lot of friends.’’
Ms Heard said Mr Bogar may have been in NSW searching for an old family friend
who lived in Sydney.
Police have also appealed to the public for information.
‘‘We are concerned for his welfare, and an investigation is underway into his
disappearance,’’ said Wollongong police crime manager Inspector Tim Beattie.
Mr Bogar is described as being 180centimetres tall with a medium build, dark
brown short hair, and an unshaven face. He is believed to have been wearing
jeans and a t-shirt at the time of his disappearance.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to contact Triple 0 or
Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Lost man's sister builds a go-to centre for Australia's missing persons
The disappearance of 38,000 Australians every year leaves their families and
friends in an agonising web of unanswered questions, writes Lawrence Money.
"I'm all right," Attila Bogar told his mother Roza when she phoned him anxiously
at 10 in the morning. "Sorry, I've got to go and get my medicine and have
something to eat."
Such unremarkable words but 74-year-old widow Roza Bogar still clings to them.
They are the last thin thread to her 36-year-old only son – he was in
Wollongong, it was Friday, 10 October 2014, and the Bogar family have not heard
from Attila since.
A loving brother to 30-year-old sister Maryann, Attila vanished somewhere along
the Princes Highway, two days after he made a peculiar overnight trip to Sydney
from his Moonee Ponds home.
He headed back to Melbourne almost immediately, reaching Wollongong on 9
October, but his silver Audi 03, registration ZGB 609, was found later,
abandoned on a rural road. His iPad, laptop and mobile phone were inside.
Where is Attila Bogar? The mystery darkens every waking hour for his family and
friends, just as it does for those close to the 38,000 other Australians who go
missing each year. Statistically, that is about one person each 15 minutes,
leaving a network of loved ones in a nightmarish web of unanswered questions.
Where? Why? How?
Again and again the Bogars ponder that strange chain of events leading up to
Attila's disappearance. The young IT businessman, normally outgoing and sociable
but on medication for anxiety since 2006, had recently become reclusive.
He had stopped driving his car and phoned mother Roza around midnight on
Wednesday 8 October, asking her to drive over and take him to her house in
Avondale Heights, ten minutes away.
Roza did so, making him a cup of tea upon arrival. He declared he would sleep
the night there, went to the spare bedroom, switched on the TV then made a phone
call. It was around 1.30am. "Who are you talking to at this time of night?"
asked his mother. "I know what I'm doing," he replied.
Minutes later he declared that he wanted to be taken home again. He asked Roza
if he could borrow $500 for "accommodation". What sort of accommodation, she
asked. He would not explain.
Half an hour after Roza gave him $250 and dropped him back home, Attila climbed
into his car and set off for Sydney, apparently looking for, but failing to
find, a family friend there.
This was the same Attila who had not driven his car for a month, who had been
unwilling even to drive the ten minutes to his mother's. "It makes no sense,"
says a tearful Roza Bogar.
At least one small piece of the puzzle fell into place – a week after the
disappearance, a parcel arrived in the mail for her. It was a new cordless phone
with emergency pendant for the elderly. Attila, having seen it advertised on
television that fateful morning, had ordered and paid for it in that unexplained
phone call he made at 1.30. "He has always been a thoughtful boy," his mother
The Attila Bogar saga is a familiar one to 30-year-old Loren O'Keeffe. For her
Melbourne family, the ordeal began more than three years ago when her younger
brother Dan vanished. There was a tantalising sighting of him in Queensland six
months later, captured on CCTV at the Grange Road medical clinic in Ipswich, but
despite the most intensive of publicity campaigns by his sister, no report or
O'Keeffe is a remarkable woman. Highly driven and innovative, she was surprised
at the time of her brother's disappearance by what she saw as a woeful lack of
guidance for her family as they entered a world where no-one wants, or expects,
"You can find anything on the internet these days," she says. "YouTubes on
boiling an egg or tying your shoelace. But there was nothing to advise you what
to do if someone goes missing. When I asked the police that morning they
couldn't give me any direction. It was absolutely absurd."
So O'Keeffe left her job with the Victorian public service to set about creating
her own publicity campaign using the internet, social media, posters, phone
calls, any means available. She dubbed it Dan Come Home, still active as the
search for him continues, but it has also been the catalyst for something much
The skills she learned along the way eventually prompted O'Keeffe to set up the
Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN), now a registered charity and a go-to
site for families when a relative disappears. With no job, it has been a
financial struggle for her -- she has had to use savings, a "social
responsibility" grant from Vodaphone and one $10,000 private donation which has
just been depleted -- but Loren O'Keeffe has turned MPAN into a new career.
"It's bigger-picture stuff now," she says, "not just about Dan.
She set up an on-line Missing Persons Guide with all the information she had
needed, but did not have, when her brother disappeared - who to report to, how
to create a "missing" poster, advice on media exposure, recruiting volunteers,
reporting, managing the missing person's financial affairs, getting legal
support and much more. This week, backed by the Singapore-based Grey
conglomerate, she launches a world-first initiative - Help Find Me - using the
search boxes of corporate websites.
It was a friend of Attila Bogar who phoned the Dan Come Home hotline a few weeks
ago to seek advice. Although police play the main role in searching for missing
persons, organisations such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army also help.
Major Sophia Gibb has headed the Salvation Army's family-tracing service in the
southern and western states for nine years. "We don't get involved until someone
is missing for at least three months," she says. "We search for at least 500
people a year and find about 70 per cent. We reunited a father and son recently.
They had not spoken since a tiff six years ago. The father wanted to reconnect
and we found the son – he was living in the same Melbourne suburb."
Gibb says marriage or relationship breakdown is often a trigger when someone
goes missing. "One spouse goes searching for the other spouse. Or children want
to find their father who, perhaps, has not been on the scene. There are a lot of
fathers who pay custody but don't get visiting rights. Get quite a lot of that.
"Lifestyles are another reason. Where someone declares homosexuality which is
not accepted in a lot of families. There are people on drugs or alcohol. Because
of drugs a lot of people have schizophrenia."
Even when the Salvation Army finds a missing person they can sometimes be
classified "located only" because, unless the missing want to be found, no
information can be passed on.
"Sometimes, when we hear the other side of the story it is no wonder the person
has gone missing," says Gibb. "Family violence, child abuse, sometimes the
missing person never wants the relationship reopened. We don't pass out anything
without permission of the person sought. We have to be very careful these days
with the Privacy Act."
In fact privacy legislation in the various states and territories of Australia
can prove an obstacle. Because it is not a crime to go missing, even police have
had difficulties in obtaining details from such sources as banks, Medicare,
Centrelink or the Australian Tax Office, details which might indicate (a) that a
missing person is still alive and (b) where that person may be.
An Institute of Criminology report in 2008 estimated that that wading through
such privacy red tape could take police up to two weeks. However the head of the
Victoria Police's newly formed Cold Case and Missing Persons squad, Detective
Senior Sergeant Boris Buick, says this is no longer the case. "The privacy
provisions don't prevent us from doing our role," he says.
Conversely, police can be surprisingly reluctant to disclose information on a
case, even to the families of missing people. Loren O'Keeffe says her mother was
denied permission to view CCTV tape recorded the day Dan went missing - believed
to show him outside a cinema in Geelong.
There was an inexplicable policing failure six months later when a woman working
at the Ipswich medical clinic recognised Dan in a TV segment on his
disappearance. He had been the man calling himself "James" (Dan's middle name)
who had come in to the clinic two weeks earlier asking for a glass of water.
The woman phoned Crime Stoppers but the O'Keeffe family was not advised. Two
weeks later the woman phoned Crime Stoppers again to see if her report had led
to any breakthrough - she was told no information could be disclosed. That was
when the woman called the Dan Come Home hotline and Loren flew up to Queensland.
"I didn't tell the police because I thought they might prevent me viewing the
tape," says Loren. She confirmed it was her brother although he was in a bad
way. "He had lost about 30 kilos and looked like death," she says. She obtained
a copy of the tape but has never released it publicly, believing Dan might see
this as an invasion of his privacy.
It was an eerie feeling – watching the brother she had not seen for six months,
talking to two women at the clinic. He told them he had been sleeping in parks
and was now heading for Brisbane. Loren then spent two months searching parks
and homeless shelters in Brisbane and Ipswich: "We asked for the case to be
transferred to Queensland where he was last seen," she says, "but Victoria
Police said there was no concrete evidence that it was Dan."
For the O'Keeffes, there was no doubt – Dan was familiar with that medical
clinic, having taken his girlfriend Susie there (Ipswich was her home town) on
more than one occasion.
Buick insists that the various state police forces do co-operate and exchange
information. "I'm familiar with the Dan O'Keeffe case. We asked Queensland
police to investigate but it came to nought. It remains a Victorian case because
he's missing from Victoria."
Buick said uniformed police handle the bulk of missing persons cases in
Australia. His squad becomes involved only if there is suspected homicide. "But
there will be times when investigators aren't able to pass on some of the
information [to the public] because that information has been gleaned in the
capacity of a law enforcement body."
Loren O'Keeffe refuses to give up hope for her brother who would now be aged 27.
"I like to think that Dan is perhaps living with like-minded souls, somewhere
beautiful in some alternative commune-like set-up," she says. "He had turned to
Tibetan Buddhism before he went missing. One theory was that he was going on
some sort of spiritual journey."
In Avondale Heights, Attila's silver Audi is parked in the driveway of his
mother's home. Roza Bogar and Carly Heard, a close friend of Attila, brought the
vehicle back to Melbourne after making their own inquiries in Wollongong.
It has been a very tough 12 months for Roza, who migrated to Australia from
Hungary in 1971. Her husband Jimmy, whom she met in Australia in 1977, died last
April. Jimmy was a meat worker who had migrated in 1957. After he became ill
with liver problems Attila researched and monitored his father's diet and
ensured he exercised. He had solar panels fitted to his parents' house to reduce
their expenses. He organised a houseboat holiday for the family in Jimmy's last
few months. At his firm Net Business, he used to pay a masseuse to give a weekly
massage to staff. When one of them was going through hard times, he paid for a
domestic cleaner. Generous, hard-working, meticulous, a devoted son. "Everybody
loves Attila, that's for sure," says his mother. But where is he?
About 38,000 Australians go missing each year
Up to 12 other people (family, friends) are severely impacted by each
In 2006 (most recent stats) national Missing Persons rate was 1.7 per 1000
In 1998 the national rate was 1.6
Highest regional rate is in the ACT (3.3)
More than 90% of Missing Persons are found within 48 hours
Two per cent are still missing after 6 months
Aust Institute of Criminology report No 86; Vic Police missing persons squad