Max Vidar CASTOR



Date of Birth: 1985
Height: 188-189cm
Build: Thin muscular
Hair: Blonde, shoulder length
Eyes: Blue
Complexion: Fair, possibly tanned

Max Castor is a Swedish tourist travelling around Australia. He was last seen at Port Campbell, Victoria on 1st April 2005 where he was dropped off by a bus company and was seen later that day 3.30pm walking along the highway towards Apollo Bay, possible sighting at Wye River on 5th April 2005. No contact with family has been made since the 30th March 2005. Missing person closed all bank accounts on that date and sent personal items home to Sweden with a note to his parents indicating that he was 'vanishing'. He has not been seen or heard from since.

Max was last seen around the Lorne, Wye River and Apollo Bay areas in May. There was an unconfirmed sighting in early June. The person saw Max hitching and picked him up. He (if it was Max) said he was heading to Cowra.
What is being asked of people is that if he is seen, try and get him talking and try and confirm it is Max. Don't ask him directly, just ask where he's from and where he's been visiting and check the photo carefully.  If Max needs help please help him - give him a bed and some food and his friends and family will reimburse you any costs, when last seen Max looked pretty rough and we think he just needs some help. He's a very nice guy just going through a rough patch, he needs our help.

Missing Person


From the Castor Family - written on the 12th April 2007

Three years ago, Max Castor, a young blonde Swede left home with two of his best friends for the trip of his life. He went to the land of future, Australia. The three friends bought an old car and travelled along the east coast. They enjoyed life with diving and had some jobs, for example fruit picking.

After 6 months his friends had to return home to Sweden. Max continued on his own and flew from Brisbane to Melbourne where he bought some equipment to walk along the Great Ocean Road. His older sister had shown him an article about this walking tour when he was planning his trip. Max and family members all enjoyed trekking and outdoor life during the holidays. Max has been trekking along with his sister and mother in the north of Sweden since he was in his early teens and he has also been a scout since the age of 9.

He got down to the famous South coast and travelled as far as Warrnambool. He e-mailed his sister to say he was waiting for his trekking tour but that the weather was a bit too cold.

During this trip something happened and in Warrnambool he cancelled his bank account and sent all his tickets and belongings in four packages home to Sweden, including a letter to his brother and two of his friends.  In one of the letters Max wrote that things would change in the future and that he regrets the things he had said. We have talked to the postmaster that helped him mail the packages and he described Max as a little tense. Surprisingly the letter to his brother was written in English and not in Swedish, a native Australian judged it to be written with some help. Maybe true, maybe not, however Max is a clever guy.

In the small place of Wye River he went to the local store and said he was heading north. He had no money and the lady in the store gave him a bottle of water. We have been in contact with this lady, who has been very kind, sympathetic and helpful to us in every way.

After that there have been unconfirmed sightings. Maybe Max was the guy who was picked up by a lorry and got off at Murray River?

The Police in Australia have done a good job to date, and Max is on the Australian Missing Persons Poster and listed but we have received no further real clues regarding the fate of Max.

We received a telephone call from a Canadian tourist in Indonesia, who told us that a guy just like Max was in Lombok. He was recognized from the Missing person poster, but no travel records have been found. Max still presumably has his valid Swedish passport?

So we, his family Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Nephew, Niece, Aunts and Grandparents have got something like a half life. Not knowing his fate takes the joy of life away. Of course we respect his choice of life, and we would even more so if only he would let us know what it is?

If you have made any observations leading to information about Max Castor’s fate, please let us know or contact International Rewards Centre.

There is a reward of AUD$5000.00 for useful information about Max.  

Written by Max’s Parents, Brother and Sister with families

Tourist `sighting' in Lorne fails to end mystery case
May 10, 2005

LORNE police have been unable to confirm sightings of missing Swedish tourist Max Castor in the seaside town.

Sergeant Bill Matthews said police had investigated a sighting on Wednesday from a resident who believed she saw the 20-year-old sitting on a bench at Lorne.

"But she didn't call us for two hours and we couldn't find him," Sergeant Matthews said.

He said he did not believe the sighting was of Mr Castor but police at Lorne had been following up every lead that was presented in the search for the missing tourist.

The last confirmed sighting was at Wye River on April 5.

Sergeant Matthews said Lorne police were regularly checking backpackers and popular tourist spots.

Max's dad Rolf, who has been following the search from his home in Sweden, said he received emails from people in Lorne about a couple of possible sightings, but conceded some were sketchy.

He said the unconfirmed sightings gave him some hope, but he was worried as some had said his son looked to be in bad shape.

THE family of a missing Swedish tourist have appealed for information after he sent a letter from Warrnambool telling his relatives something strange had happened and that he intended to disappear. Twenty-year-old Max Vidar Castor arrived in Sydney in October last year and travelled with two Swedish friends before separating to come to Victoria. A package sent to his brother Martin in Stockholm was postmarked in Warrnambool - his last known location - on March 31 but did not arrive in Sweden until last week. It is the last correspondence his family received from Max. Included in the package was a letter which said goodbye to his family and informed them something strange had happened to him that was forcing him to vanish. The package also contained some books, gifts to family members, photos of himself, his return ticket to Sweden and what appeared to be the last of his money. Max's father, Rolf Castor, contacted Australian and Swedish authorities after the package arrived.
He also posted a desperate message on a Great Ocean Road website guestbook: "Have a son that has disappeared in your area. Any good ideas where to look? Got peculiar goodbye letter hard to interpret. Do you have groups living outside the normal community attracting youth with alternative living. If dead where should I ask?"
According to a missing persons' report filed by his family, Max Castor closed his Commonwealth Bank account on March 24 and withdrew all his money. His Swedish bank account and associated Visa card remain active but no money has been withdrawn from them since February 28.

Max is blond, about 188 centimetres tall and described as having a slim but muscular stature.

Anyone with any information should contact police.

Cult fear on lost son
Ellen Whinnett

A SWEDISH backpacker missing in Victoria for a month may have joined a cult, say his worried family.

But there are also concerns that Max Vidar Castor, 20, may have taken his own life. Mr Castor's family has launched a desperate email-based search for their son, who has not been seen or heard of since last month, when he posted a strange parcel to his family in Stockholm. The parcel included his return ticket to Sweden, the last of his money and a letter in which Mr Castor said he was no longer sure what his quest in life was.
"I am tired of myself but there is still much beauty in the world," Mr Castor wrote in the parcel sent from the Warrnambool post office on March 31. "Now I am vanishing and I love you all." Mr Castor's father, Rolf, said the family was fearful Max may have taken his own life, or dropped out of mainstream society and joined a cult. "It is 50-50 that he is alive," a distressed Mr Castor said from his home in Stockholm. "He may have taken his life, or he may have joined a sect. "I heard you have a lot of hippie camps there. "I hope that he has, then we know he is alive. "We want him to know that if he has joined a sect, that is fine, it is his life, that is perfectly OK with us. At least then we have hope, it is better." Mr Castor arrived in Sydney on October 19 with two friends, bought an old car and travelled to Byron Bay and Brisbane. The trio finished their trip by picking apples and washing dishes, and enjoyed diving, surfing and meeting alternative lifestylers. Rolf Castor said his son had recently finished his studies but was unclear about his future and concerned that life was too focused on money. "He may have looked for a more spiritual life," he said.
Today is Mr Castor's 20th birthday. He split several weeks ago with his travelling companions and headed for the Victorian coast, where he may have visited Geelong. On March 29, he sent an email to his family wishing them a happy Easter. His family has seized on the fact his passport was not in the parcel as a sign that Mr Castor may still be alive and has chosen to drop out of mainstream society.

The family has sent hundreds of emails to backpacker haunts and community groups Australia-wide asking for information and for a poster to be distributed. A missing person report has been filed in Sweden.

Where is my son? Swedish man's plea to the people of South West Victoria
Thursday, 5 May 2005

Presenter: Steve Martin

The strange disappearance of a Swedish backpacker inspires a desperate plea from his parents for help from the public.

The worried family of missing 20-year-old Swedish backpacker Max Castor hopes his towering 189cm height and wild blond hair will help the public to locate him and put an end to their sleepless nights.

"He looks like a Greek God in some way," says Max's father, Rolf Castor.

Max last contacted his family during a visit to the Victorian town of Warrnambool in March, where he sent a cryptic note back to his home in Sweden.

Stating only that "..something strange had happened to him.." the note was sent along with all of his belongings as well as all his money and his return ticket to Sweden.

Local police have searched caravan parks from Warrnambool to Geelong and found nothing so far; there is no evidence nor suggestion of foul play at this point.

At home in Hagersten, his sister, brother and parents hope the young man is just doing some soul searching and has not fallen in with a cult.

"Well he is a young boy that has just left school, and he is thinking what he should do with the rest of his life and maybe he is very tired of the Western society of the superficial life of just consuming things," Mr Castor said.

The last confirmed sighting of the backpacker was at the Wye River General Store on April 5.

Mr Castor says he is considering taking up offers of accommodation in South West Victoria to find his son who planned to travel the country for a year.

If you have any information that can help find Max Castor please contact Warrnambool police station on (03) 5560 1333

Missing tourist reward offer
By MATT NEAL - Warrnambool Standard
December 26, 2005

THE parents of a Swedish tourist who vanished in the south-west in March have offered a desperate Christmas reward for more information.

Max Castor was last heard of when he mailed a mysterious farewell letter from Warrnambool to his family on March 31.

Mr Castor's parents have posted a $5000 reward with the International Rewards Centre, which hosts millions of dollars in rewards for missing people. The blond-haired 20-year-old sparked a police search after he wrote to family saying
something strange had happened and he had to disappear.

The letter also contained what appeared to be the last of Mr Castor's money, books, gifts for his family, photos of himself and his return ticket to Sweden. Mr Castor's father Rolf, who lives in Stockholm, contacted Australian authorities soon

Mr Castor said earlier this year he had spent hundreds of hours writing letters and using the internet in the search for his son. Mr Castor was believed to have caught a bus to Port Campbell on April 1 and was seen walking east along the Great Ocean Road. Four days later he visited a shop in Wye River looking for a campsite and was given a bottle of water by a shopkeeper.

Further unconfirmed sightings in the following weeks placed him at Apollo Bay and Lorne. Another unconfirmed sighting on April 28 reported he was headed for Cowra in New South Wales. Anyone with information should contact police.

Fears for missing tourist
By ALEX EASTON - The Northern Star

"Something strange has happened to me and I don’t know how to cope with it ... I am vanishing ... no tears."

With those words, Swedish tourist Max Castor, 20, mailed his belongings back to his parents, closed his bank accounts and disappeared.

Of course, there were tears and, for nearly a year now, a desperate search by Max’s family to learn what became of him.

Now the family’s hopes have settled on the Nimbin area, where Max’s father Rolf says his son maybe happily immersed in the alternative lifestyle he had come to love.

Speaking from the family home in Sweden, Mr Rolf yesterday told The Northern Star looking to Nimbin was a long shot, but that it could be the family’s best bet after 12 months of searching by Victorian police in the area Max disappeared failed to turn up any clues.

Mr Castor said he was happy for his son, whose tourist visa would by now have expired, to settle in Australia and live whatever life he chose, but that the family needed to know whether he was alive — or if that fateful letter was, in fact, a suicide note.
Max was last seen a year ago today, when he was spotted near Apollo Bay on the coast west of Melbourne, six days after his last contact with his family.

The strange disappearance sparked a rush of media interest in Victoria, traces of which still linger on the Internet.

The case even caught the attention of the International Rewards Centre — a private organisation that offers rewards to people who help find missing and wanted people.

The centre, which also has a $25 million reward posted for Osama Bin Laden, is offering $5000 to anyone who can tell them where Max is.

Mr Castor said he could not imagine what Max’s final letter and last known actions meant.

Some experts who had analysed it announced it was a classic suicide note while others said the letter, combined with the closing of bank accounts, indicated it came from a person who did not plan to die.

Mr Castor said Max had always had a good relationship with his family and seemed relatively happy, but that high unemployment in his native Sweden, combined with the dissatisfaction of youth with the conventional work-aday life of their parents could mean he did not want to come home.

Mr Castor said Max embraced alternative lifestyles and was a light smoker of cannabis.

And while travelling Australia he would have seen plenty of opportunities to abandon the life awaiting him in Sweden for the alternative lifestyle he craved.

After arriving in Australia on October 19, 2004, Max had bought an old car and driven to Byron Bay and then Brisbane, picking apples for money, diving and surfing the North Coast’s beaches and meeting people.

After arriving in Brisbane, Max split from his friends and went to Victoria. Soon after he sent the letter to his parents and disappeared.

A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said that every police station in Australia had been alerted to Max’s disappearance, but that police would not try to detain him if he was found.

The spokeswoman said police only wanted to confirm Max’s safety and would pass that information on to police if they found him.

Anyone with information about Max should call the National Missing Persons Unit on 1800 000 634 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

A parent who waits in hope

07 Aug, 2010 01:00 AM


FOR Rolf Castor, losing a child is like losing the joy of life.

"It's like you put a wet blanket over everything," Mr Castor explained.

Speaking from his home in Sweden, Mr Castor said he still held hope that his son Max, who was last sighted in Warrnambool five years ago, would one day return home to his family.

"My position today is that he lives a good life in your country."

Max disappeared on April 1, 2005 during a back-packing trip around Australia.

After last being sighted in Warrnambool, there were several unconfirmed sightings of the then 25-year-old along the Great Ocean Road and into the Otways, but his last known contact with his family was on April 21, 2005, when he sent an email to his family.

On the same day his brother in Sweden received a parcel containing Max's personal belongings, money and a letter.

He was last seen wearing a blue windcheater, white t-shirt, jeans and carrying a light blue backpack and a multi coloured clutch bag.

The case has been highlighted as part of National Missing Persons Week in the hopes that new information may come to light.

His father told The Standard that he spent the first few years actively looking for Max with the support of the Victorian police force, the Swedish embassy and consulates, the Swedish church abroad, the Salvation Army and many individuals.

"None of this have given any result and, to keep my mind healthy, I have changed position a little.

"So today, Max comes up in my head a few times a week and, especially when I visit places connected to Max, I may get a little moist in the eye wrinkle."

Mr Castor said he acknowledged that Max was an adult who, for some reason, had chosen to break contact with his family and friends.

His search now revolves around contacting Swedish tourists planning a long-term stay in Australia and who are about the same age as Max, asking them to keep their eyes open.

"Maybe 100 to 150 have been contacted and maybe some have seen Max but they were not quite sure.

"Somewhere along the east coast (one) went out for food and was joined by a man, obviously a Swede looking like Max, but not talking about himself ."

Mr Castor said his family often spoke about Max: "We have somewhat different opinions about what happened."

"A peculiar feeling is Max's niece and nephew, who were born after we lost contact, slowly getting aware that they have an uncle and asking questions like where does he eat, where does he sleep (and) does he have a blanket and pillow?

"(These are) important questions when you are three or four years old."

But what does Mr Castor believe of Max's fate?

"My opinion is that he is alive, living in some kind alternative non-commercial society practising some craft.

"Max is very clever in learning practical skills and crafts he picked up a lot from my grandfather and myself, like painting, gardening woodworking (and) work at the anvil.

All (of this) is so obvious to him you just need to show (him) once and then he masters and improves.

Mr Castor believes Max has probably changed his name as he has no valid visa in Australia. He also thinks he may be living in a relationship and may have a child as he was very fond of children.

He realises that his son may be keeping a low-profile: "He is aware that I have been looking and that if he passes a border, the interpol alarm system may sound."

"I check with his friends now and then and most believe he is alive but they are a little concerned that they have not heard anything.

"Then, of course, there is the possibility of a desert accident like a poisonous snake or thirst. He is trained in outdoor living, but your nature may be harder than ours or unfamiliar."

He hopes that as Max gets older he will one day contact his family in Sweden - perhaps as his own children start questioning their background.

Mr Castor is now praying that he will still be alive himself to see that day.


Dad of missing backpacker holds hope

Carl Dickens | 

FIVE years after his son vanished without a trace on Victoria's south-west coast, Swede Rolf Castor remains hopeful his son is still alive.

Max Castor, then 20, disappeared during a back-packing trip around Australia on April 1, 2005, after last being sighted around the Great Ocean Road and the Otways. He was in Geelong before he closed his bank account, and on March 31 2005, mailed his family in Sweden a package including his return air ticket, belongings and a letter declaring his intention to vanish.

Speaking from his home near Stockholm, Rolf Castor yesterday likened the gut-wrenching feeling of his son's loss to "putting a wet blanket over everything".

He has spent years working with police, Swedish embassy and consulates and hundreds of individuals trying to find Max, to no avail. He said he was slowly accepting the realisation that his son may have shown his distaste for Western culture by joining an underground group and did not want to be found.

"I still have a decent amount of hope that Max is alive," Mr Castor said. "I've worked on my fear by thinking that he may have chosen something, perhaps some kind of self-sufficient, non-commercial group. He was always good in the garden and good with practical skills and he learns things quickly.

"His brother and sister have both since had children, so now he has a niece and nephew back home who are learning they have an uncle but don't understand why he's not around."

Mr Castor issued another plea for Max to give his family a sign of life. "Please just give us a sign so we know you are ok. You don't need to disclose information about where you are, it doesn't matter. And of course, you will always be welcome back home."

Questions linger, sadness remains

29 Mar, 2012 04:00 AM


ON Sunday it will be seven years since Swedish backpacker Max Castor seemingly vanished into thin air.

He was 20 at the time and travelling around Australia.

After being seen in Warrnambool, there were several unconfirmed sightings along the Great Ocean Road and into the Otways, and his last known contact with his family was on April 21, 2005, when he sent an email.

On the same day his brother in Sweden received a parcel containing Max’s personal belongings, money and a letter.

He was last seen wearing a blue windcheater, white T-shirt, jeans, carrying a light blue backpack and a multi-coloured clutch bag.

Detective Senior Constable Dannielle O’Keefe led the investigation into his disappearance in Warrnambool at the time and said she wished she could report a happy ending.

She said police had asked for DNA from Max’s family but it was a procedural process undertaken in missing person cases to ensure an efficient match.

“At this point in time we’ve exhausted all avenues in terms of leads,” she said.

“I keep in regular contact with Max’s father Rolf and his family. We’d love for information that would lead to something more.

“For the family it’s extremely difficult. They have no control over their environment and are relying on someone to provide information.

“They’re a delightful family and they’re desperate for their son to come home.

“We would love a happy ending but it’s not the case unless there is more information that comes forward.”

For Max’s family life goes on despite a sadness hanging over them.

Next week his father Rolf will undergo heart surgery.

Speaking from Sweden, Rolf said he kept in touch with Max’s friends, who were now starting their own families.

“It’s like a type of sadness that is always there,” he said.

Rolf said there was a strong belief that Max was still alive and living in Australia.

“My hope that is that he has a good life in your country and that maybe when he has his own family he will make new contact with us,” he said.

Mr Castor said Max had nieces and nephews who were asking about him and revealed he had inherited money, which may be of use to him.

He pleaded that if anyone knew where Max was or saw him to ask him to call home.


Father of Swedish backpacker who disappeared from Port Campbell dies without answers



Warrnambool police Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo chats about the disappearance of Swedish-born Max Castor

The 20-year-old, sick of the usual rise-and-grind back home, embarked on a trip-of-a-lifetime, travelling along the east coast of Australia with friends before arriving solo in Warrnambool in March 2005.

It was here he sent packages to his home in Sweden, filled with his personal belongings - books, gifts and photos - along with his return plane ticket and some money his father had lent him.

He then disappeared without a trace.


Warrnambool police Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo was part of the team assigned to Max's missing person case in 2005.

He said the case was handed to the Warrnambool police crime investigation unit about three months after Max's disappearance.

"As unit commanders, myself, Lee Porter and Andy Raven, regularly reviewed the missing person investigation, as well as triaged and assessed new information that would come in," the detective said.

"Since Max's disappearance, there have been a number of sightings of him from Colac to as far as Byron Bay and Sydney.

"Quite often we get a report of 'I saw this person on a poster at the police station that reminded me of a time I saw someone with that description at this location'."

Detective Senior Sergeant Asenjo said information relating to alleged sightings were sent to local police stations for investigation.

"We would request officers at those stations to take action and unfortunately up until this day, none of the information reported has helped us find Max," he said.

The detective said investigations into missing persons included checks with mobile phone providers and financial institutions.

"We try to put our resources into finding people who still might be out there and might still be contributing to the community in some way," he said.

"Unfortunately, there are also missing people that are on our books that we do believe have clearly passed away. Being on the coast, you do have that possibility of people coming to misadventure on the ocean."

In Max's case, there is no evidence of him being dead or alive.

Detective Senior Sergeant Asenjo said the last contact Max had with his family was when he sent home his personal belongings and a letter.

"He wrote to his family to say he had a bit of an epiphany here in Australia which may have seen him go to a more primitive community,' he said.

"(Max's father) Rolf was of the belief he had joined some sort of community that lives pretty much off the grid and I think he had found some peace with that."

Detective Senior Sergeant Asenjo said he had regular communication with Mr Castor, who lived in Sweden, in the 15 years since his son's disappearance.

"In emails to me, Rolf was quite hopeful that Max had met someone, had children and that he (Rolf) may actually be a grandfather," he said.

"We've had no indication that Max is dead and he was a young man in the prime of his life so we do hold hope, like the Castor family, that he is out there somewhere and if he is, maybe he is reading in the media that his father has passed."

Detective Senior Sergeant Asenjo said Mr Castor's death was a "sad tale" for a family desperate for answers.

"Rolf and I would email each other every couple of months. He made a Facebook page asking for information about Max and when he received updates he would provide it to me and I'd conduct any investigations we could to rule information out as a possibility or establish the veracity of that report," he said.

"We would also engage with the Castor family every year through Missing Person's Month, to get their approval to publicise the fact that Max, a young man in the prime of his life, had gone missing."

Through the constant email exchanges, the detective said he felt like he got to know Mr Castor well.

"He was a loving father, not just to Max, but to all of his kids, and I can see that Max's disappearance weighed down heavily on him," he said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Asenjo said he and Mr Castor would often exchange photographs of their homes.

"I would take photos of the Port Campbell area, hopefully to help him feel a little bit more connected to his son and to the part of the world that Max really loved," he said.

"I'd send him photos of Australia, at its finest in summer months, and he would send me a near identical photo in Sweden during winter.

"I felt like it was a warm relationship between the two of us with a common goal to try and locate his son."

Detective Senior Sergeant Asenjo said he had not given up in his search for Max and urged anyone with information to come forward.

"Hopefully he is reading this and I encourage Max, and anyone who knows his whereabouts, to get in contact with us so we can provide some closure to the family," he said.

Anyone with information should contact Warrnambool police or Crime Stoppers.