The wife of a missing man Conrad Whitlock said nothing seemed out of the
ordinary when they said goodnight to each other the night before he disappeared
from their family home.
A desperate search is now under way for the 72-year-old man whose car was found
near ski fields in Mount Buller, more than 200 kilometres away from his
south-east Melbourne home.
"We’ve been married for 52 years and I just can’t comprehend that he’s done
anything so out of character," Mandy Whitlock said.
Police have grave concerns for his welfare with the overnight minimum in
Mount Buller having dropped to sub-zero temperatures the last two nights.
Ms Whitlock said her husband had been experiencing headaches and had
seen doctors about the issue.
"His doctor sent him for an MRI but he didn’t even get that far," she
"He’s been concerned about the headache, but because he’d been to the
doctor and his next step was to have an MRI, he said 'look, whatever
they find they’ll be able to handle it'," she said.
"Everything else has been absolutely normal in our lives."
Ms Whitlock just wants to know her husband is safe.
"He’s a very likeable guy, he gets on with everybody ... I love him very
much," she said.
"You cannot imagine what it feels like. It’s totally surreal."
A full-scale search involving the police air helicopter is under way
with the help of the State Emergency Service.
"We need to find Mr Whitlock and we need to find him in a hurry,"
Inspector David Ryan said on Wednesday.
Mr Whitlock’s wife last saw him about 11.30pm on Monday at their White
Water Court home in Sandhurst when he went to bed.
The alarm was raised when he failed to show up to work on Tuesday
Police used the Find My iPhone app to track down Mr Whitlock’s white
BMW, which they believe was parked on the side of Mount Buller Road
about 6am Tuesday. His car keys and phone were left in the car.
While Mr Whitlock does have skiing experience and is familiar with Mount
Buller having skied there previously with his wife, he has no reason to be
in the area.
Police have released a photo of Mr Whitlock and his vehicle in the hope it
will jog someone’s memory.
"Our hope is that he’s okay, he’s sought shelter somewhere ... if he’s
disoriented maybe someone’s given him a hand," Inspector Ryan said.
"We just need the public’s assistance to let us know where he is."
Mr Whitlock is about 170 centimetres tall with a slim build and grey hair.
Anyone who sees him or has information on his whereabouts is urged to
contact Benalla Police Station on 5760 0200.
Mystery Surrounds Elderly Man Missing In Freezing Victorian Ski
Thu 01 Aug 2019 10.02 AM
The search has ramped up to find a 72-year-old Victorian man whose car has been
found abandoned in the state's alpine region.
The search to find Conrad Whitlock has ramped up as police hold fears for how
much longer he can survive in the freezing temperatures.
Whitlock was last seen about 11.30pm on Monday at his Sandhurst property and is
believed to have arrived in the ski fields about 6am on Tuesday,
His white BMW was found abandoned, about 200km from his home, on Mount Buller
Road using smartphone technology as he'd left his mobile, keys and other items
"It was a simple procedure for one of the employees to track the phone which
alerted police to go and search the road and sure enough, there was his car. No
sign of Conrad whatsoever," Inspector David Ryan told Seven's Sunrise on
Police and family members are concerned for his welfare given his age and the
fact that it is unusual for him to be at the ski fields.
"Time is of the essence in the search for Conrad," the senior officer said.
"Unfortunately, the conditions overnight are sub-zero temperatures and cold wet
terrain. It is very steep, rugged country.
"This causes us to have significant concerns for Conrad's ability to survive
many more nights."
While there are no concerns of foul play at this stage, police are investigating
whether Whitlock suffered a medical episode, became disorientated and wandered
Police are urging anyone who knows if he left the area with somebody or has seen
him to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Search for Conrad Whitlock extended to Sawmill Settlement
Four local people in a small community in the foothills of Mount Buller have
reported seeing a man on Tuesday morning who fits the description of Conrad
Whitlock, the 72-year-old man who has been missing since Monday.
Inspector David Ryan said the police search area would now extend to Sawmill
Settlement, about 20 kilometres from where Mr Whitlock's car was found,
after reports an elderly man was seen on the side of the road wearing khaki
"But for him to get there he would have had to have received some
assistance, someone would have had to have given him a lift," Inspector Ryan
Police are now appealing for information from anyone who has seen an older
man in the vicinity of Sawmill Settlement up to Mount Buller. It's believed
Mr Whitlock may have become disoriented after driving off from his family
home in Melbourne's south-east.
The third day of the desperate search for Mr Whitlock has ended on Thursday
evening without success, after 50 police, SES and Bush and Rescue officers
headed out into the ski fields about 8am.
Mr Whitlock was last seen about 11.30pm on Monday when he left his home at
White Water Court in Sandhurst.
By 6am Tuesday his white BMW was parked near ski fields halfway up Mount
Buller. His car keys and phone were found in the car, which police
discovered using the Find My iPhone app.
On Thursday Inspector Ryan said police were looking at the possibility that
Mr Whitlock had a medical episode and wandered off in confusion.
"Potentially we could be looking at some sort of medical episode, which has
caused Mr Whitlock to become disoriented, and that's what causes us real
concern," Nine News reported Inspector Ryan as saying.
"If he's gone into the bush up there on Mount Buller, and we haven't
found him in our initial search, it is going to prove very difficult to
But Inspector Ryan said the potential sighting at Sawmill Settlement
means Mr Whitlock may have come down the mountain to seek shelter, which
could drastically increase his chances of survival.
"He’s only really at risk if he's out in the elements. If he’s gotten
himself to Sawmill Settlement, he may have gotten himself to shelter. We
just don't know where that is.
"I’m very hopeful that we will find him. We are obviously really
concerned. The longer this goes, the greater concern we have."
Mr Whitlock's wife Mandy on Wednesday said nothing seemed out of the
ordinary when they said goodnight to each other on Monday night.
"We've been married for 52 years and I can't comprehend that he would do
anything so out of character," Mrs Whitlock said.
"You cannot imagine what it feels like. It’s totally surreal."
She said her husband had been experiencing headaches and had seen
doctors about the issue.
"All I can think is there is something wrong with the headaches – I
don't know if he has had a mini-stroke and is wandering around with
amnesia, I don't know. Just not knowing is the worst part," Ms
Mr Whitlock and his wife have skiied in the area in the past, but he
had no special connection and no known reason to be there.
Temperatures have plummeted below zero in Mount Buller since he
vanished, but Inspector Ryan was still hopeful of finding him.
"The weather report is for no rain, which is in our favour," he
Police are appealing for anyone who drove between Mount Buller
and Mansfield on Tuesday morning to check their dash cam
Mr Whitlock is about 170 centimetres tall with a slim build and
Anyone who sees Mr Whitlock or may have information on his
whereabouts is urged to contact Mansfield Police Station on 5775
2555 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
As many as eighty police and volunteers have
resumed the desperate search for the 72-year-old Melbourne man
who has been missing since Monday.
Police and SES tents are stationed in the
community hall in Merrijig – a town of around 500 between
Mansfield and Mout Buller – as the search enters its sixth
are re-focusing around where the vehicle was located, about
20 kilometres for the town on the road up Mount Buller.
Bruce McCormack's family has lived in the area since 1866
and knows the country well. He says the terrain near where
Mr Whitlock's car was found is "rugged" scrub, making the
search more difficult.
be within ten yards of him and you wouldn't see him,"
said Mr McCormack. "It doesn't hold a lot of hope. It's
steep and rugged country."
McCormack said the off-road tracks have been blocked off
for the snow season, limiting the amount of people who
would have the chance to pass by Mr Whitlock.
were summer, there would be 4WDs and motor bikes around
everywhere up the mountain. Someone would spot him
really easily if he'd walked out onto a track."
Whitlock was last seen about 11.30pm when he left his
home at White Water Court in Sandhurst.
Tuesday his white BMW was parked near ski fields halfway
up Mount Buller. His car keys and phone were found in
the car, which police discovered using the Find My
By Thursday, the search had extended to Sawmill
Settlement, a small community in the foothills of Mount Buller
after four locals reported seeing a man who fits the description
of Mr Whitlock.
The SES has 16 searchers contributing, with six
additional support staff travelling from Melbourne's
metropolitan area to assist.
On Thursday, Inspector Ryan said police were
looking at the possibility that Mr Whitlock had a medical
episode and wandered off in confusion.
"Potentially we could be looking at some sort of
medical episode, which has caused Mr Whitlock to become
disoriented, and that's what causes us real concern," Nine News
reported Inspector Ryan as saying.