- This is a photo of Donny taken very shortly before he disappeared and shows exactly what he was wearing, except for the cap.



Link to Today Tonight story on Donny -



Search for missing teen near Echuca

Sarah Scopelianos |  September 3, 2012 - Weekly Times


UPDATE 4.15pm: POLICE have completed their Murray River search for a missing boy at Echuca.

They are now investigating reports of a possible sighting of the teenager in the township.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman told Weekly Times Now police had concluded their search of a 10km stretch of the Murray River and a reported sighting of 16-year-old  ‘Donny’ Dovan was unconfirmed but had come from a reliable source.
A Facebook page, Missing Donald Govan, has about 400 members and reports the teen as having visited a farm house.
“Ok we have a update, Donny went to a farm house to ask for food. He was headed in Bendigo area. His sisters are up there on his trail, hope to have good news soon,” the post reads.

Insp Paul Margetts told Weekly Times Now earlier today he held great concern for the welfare of Donny who wandered away from a campsite about 8.30pm on Saturday night.

Insp Margetts said it was Donny's first camping trip and he was way with his sister and three friends.

The teen from Linton was only wearing a black T-shirt with a 'Flight Path' logo on the front, white board shorts and black runners when he disappeared.

The Victoria Police airwing was dispatched earlier today to join the dog squad, search and rescue, the Echuca SES and the Echuca Moama Search and Rescue Service to try and find Donny.

"He had consumed some alcohol and possibly cannabis which adds to my concerns if he has fallen into the river," Insp Margetts told Weekly Times Now this morning.

"It was his first time camping. He didn't take a mobile and has been out of contact for 36 hours now.

"The night-time temperature can get quite low despite the good weather during the day.

"I understand he's not a good swimmer and doesn't have a lot of bush skills and this is adding to my concerns.''

A search yesterday failed to find any sign of Donny.

Insp Margetts said Donny's parents have remained home in case he returns and are in contact with police.

Donny is described as Caucasian, 173cm tall, slim build, shaggy light brown hair and wearing a spacer earring.

Anyone with information or has seen Donny is urged to phone Echuca police on (03) 5482 2255.

Victoria Police media release: Search for missing teen widens

Tuesday, 04 September 2012 05:21:54 PM

*************The following media release has been issued on behalf of Victoria Police.

Police are continuing their search for Linton teenager Donald Govan who went missing from a campsite in Echuca on Saturday night.

Donald was camping with friends and was last seen near the camp site on the River Track, about 1km north of Brand Road, at around 8.30pm.

The 16-year-old was wearing a black t-shirt with “Flight Path” logo on the front, white board shorts and black runners.

Donald is described as Caucasian, 173 centimetres tall, slim build, shaggy light brown hair and wearing a spacer earring.

Local police, Search & Rescue and SES volunteers have conducted grid searches in and around the campsite and on the banks of the Murray River without success.

Police have received information from a local resident who believes she gave Donald breakfast on Sunday morning.

The woman has told police that a youth, matching Donald’s description, spoke to her at around 10.30am saying that he had spent the night in the bush and that he was intending to travel to Bendigo.

Police believe that this new information is credible and have widened their search to include the Bendigo region.

Police have released a recent image of Donald and urge anyone with information or any one who has seen Donald to contact Triple Zero (000) immediately.


Search widens for missing teen


Chris Hingston - The Age


Police have widened the search for teenager Donald Govan, who went missing from an Echuca campsite more than two days ago.

The search was widened to include the Bendigo region today, after police received new information on the missing 16-year-old.

Donald was camping at a site in Echuca and was last seen by friends at about 8.30pm Saturday.

Police and SES volunteers had been conducting grid searches in and around the camp site-area and on the banks of the Murray River.

Donald was wearing a black t-shirt with a “Flight Path” logo on the front, white board shorts and black runners.

He is described as Caucasian, 173cm tall, slim build with shaggy light brown hair and wearing a spacer earring.

Police said they were contacted by a resident who believes they gave breakfast to Donald on Sunday morning.

She told police she had spoken to a person matching Donald's description who said they had spent a night in the bush and was planning to travel to Bendigo.

Police are urging anyone with information on Donald's whereabouts to ring Triple Zero.

Search continues for Linton teen

Cimara Pearce |  September 5, 2012 - Weekly Times
POLICE are conducting daily land and water searches for missing Linton teenager Donald 'Donny' Govan near Echuca.

The 16-year-old has been missing since Saturday night after wandering away from a campsite at Echuca.

Victoria Police had been conducting an extensive search of the Murray River with concerns Donald might have fallen in the water but told Weekly Times Now on Monday afternoon the search had been concluded.

It is understood the search was concluded after an alleged sighting of Donald was reported to police on Monday.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman told Weekly Times Now this afternoon that searches were being conducted on land and water for Donald and that Victoria Police was "working closely with its NSW counterparts".

The spokeswoman said police still had deep concerns for the missing teenager's safety and urged anyone with information on his whereabouts to phone Echuca police on (03) 5482 2255.

A woman told police she spoke to a teen matching Donny's description about 10.30am on Sunday and gave him breakfast.

He is said to have told her he spent the night in the bush and he was intending to travel to Bendigo

Earlier this week the Victoria Police dog squad, the airwing, search and rescue squad and volunteers from the SES were involved in searching a 10km stretch of the Murray River for Donald.

Donald is described as 173cm tall, of slim build, with shaggy light brown hair and wearing a spacer earring.

When he went missing he was wearing a black T-shirt with a "Flight Path" logo on the front, white board shorts and black runners.


Pregnant Katrina O'Keane pleads for clues in search for missing brother Donald Govan

A POLICE search has resumed on the Murray River for a missing teenager who became an uncle this morning.

The Linton 16-year-old hadn’t still hadn’t returned to his family for the birth of his older sister’s baby girl after disappearing from an Echuca campsite on Saturday.

Katrina O’Keane, 21, said while she was a proud new mum, she was concerned about the safety of her little brother.

“I want Donny back, he’s not going to leave my mind until he’s back,” Ms O’Keane said.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said police were conducting daily boat and vehicle patrols along the Murray River and surrounding areas.

She said police had combined forces with their NSW counterparts to strengthen the search, and were in regular contact with Donald’s family.

Donald’s sister Rachael O’Keane said a psychic who had contacted them via Facebook said the missing teen may be 100 metres off either Pyramid or Tennyson Roads, which both lead into Bendigo.

“We’re going to go check out these streets and the back roads of Bendigo,” Rachael said.

Ms O'Keane had been hoping her missing 16-year-old brother will return for the birth of her girl, set for induction yesterday.

"He’s going to be an uncle ... and I just want him home to meet his niece," Ms O’Keane, 21, said.

"I just feel guilty – I just want him to be here.”

She appealed for Victorians to keep their eyes open for Donald, nicknamed "Donny", who disappeared from an Echuca campsite on Saturday night.

"We love him and miss him and if he hears this please come home, please be safe," she said.

The search spread to Bendigo after an Echuca resident said she served a teenage boy breakfast on Sunday.

The woman has told police that a youth, matching Donald's description, spoke to her at around 10.30am. He said he had spent the night in the bush and that he was intending to travel to Bendigo.

Another of Donald's sisters, Rachael O’Keane, said the teen's cousin had travelled up to Bendigo today to continue the search.

"We’ve been to train stations, truck stops, servos, bus stops, milk bars, we’ve even been to pubs, just in case any truckies have seen him," she said.

"She’s just going to be doing the same rounds, pretty much."

She urged people to take a few minutes out to search their local area for him.

"We’re hoping anyone in the area can check their unused sheds in case he's camping in there," she said.

"If everyone can take five minutes out of their time to just have a drive around the block, or go down to the dam or creek in case he might be drinking from the water.

"We’re really concerned at the moment. We really need everyone’s help."

She said Donald disappeared after running into the bush following a fight at the Echuca campsite about 8.30 on Saturday night.

"One of the boys chased him 100 metres down the dirt track then he shot off into the bush – it was dark, it was 8.30 at night," she said.

"We left it for about half an hour but when he hadn’t returned ... we were still searching for him until 3am."

Ms O'Keane said police had kept the family informed but she was frustrated with the lack of information surrounding Donald's whereabouts.

She said her brother would be doing everything he could to survive.

"He would be just scared: no resources, no phone, no money, we don’t know if he’s got fresh water," she said.


Family of missing teen struggling

SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 4:23am

By Fiona Broom - Shepparton News


No news is not good news for the family of missing teen Donald Govan, who are desperate for information about where the 16-year-old is.

‘‘Donny’’ walked away from a campsite on the Murray River near Echuca about 8.30pm on Saturday, September 1.

A woman at a house 10km away said a boy, believed to be Donny, told her he was going to Bendigo when she gave him breakfast the next morning, but Donny hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Sister Rachael O’Keane said as it had been more than a week since the last sighting of Donny, he could now be anywhere in Victoria or even Australia.

She said she was not sure why Donny would have said he was heading to Bendigo, except that it was on the way to Ballarat, near where he lives.

‘‘It’s just bizarre ... It’s just unreal. Nothing makes sense,’’ Ms O’Keane said.

‘‘Every day is a struggle hoping the phone will ring with good news.

‘‘Our sister had a baby (on September 5) so he’s now an uncle. We just want answers and we just want him home.’’

She said she did not think Donny was deliberately staying away, despite having walked away from the campsite in a bad mood.

‘‘He just wanted to go home ... but I’d been drinking during the day so I said we’d go in the morning,’’ Ms O’Keane said.

‘‘It was a freezing night, there’s no way he would want to spend the night out in the bush.’’

Donny doesn’t have his wallet or mobile phone and left the campsite wearing white shorts and a black T-shirt.

‘‘If he was just doing it to vent, after a couple of hours he would have come back,’’ Ms O’Keane said.

‘‘Complete strangers’’ across Victoria and NSW have been helping Donny’s family and friends with the search effort by distributing posters and patrolling places he could be.

The police search for Donny is continuing.

Anyone with information about Donny’s whereabouts is urged to phone Echuca Police Station on 54822255.



Posters of missing teen Donald Govan removed

By Ruth Clayton - Riverine Herald

SEPTEMBER 19, 2012 10:14am


Southern Cross Station security guards are being accused of ripping up posters of missing Linton, near Ballarat, teen Donald ‘‘Donny’’ Govan in the face of a volunteer searching for him.

Donny has been missing since September 1 when he left his Echuca campsite.

Melbourne resident Cindy Wilmot, who does not know Mr Govan’s family but offered to help find him, was in sticking up posters of Donny on poles at the central station when she alleges security guards confronted her and told her to take the posters down.

When she refused, she said they issued her a $210 fine for littering and told her they would send her a cleaning bill to remove the sticky tape from the poles.

She said they also tore the posters up in front of her before binning them.

‘‘They ripped them down and ripped them up in my face and threw them in the bin,’’ Miss Wilmot said.

‘‘If I had had been a family member, that would have been devastating to see pictures of their son ripped up and thrown into the trash can.’’

Southern Cross Station management did not wish to comment on the matter when contacted by the Riv, however Victorian by-laws which govern where posters can be displayed would likely be one of the reasons for the fine.

Miss Wilmot heard about Donny’s story on the news and contacted the family through the Facebook page ‘Missing Donald Govan’ to help find him.

‘‘If it was one of my kids who went missing I would be beside myself and I would hope the public and strangers would help me out as well,’’ Miss Wilmot said, when asked why she got involved in the search.

Miss Wilmot, who lives in Melbourne, said she had 3000 posters printed with the aim of plastering them around the Melbourne Central Business District and handing them out to pedestrians.

‘‘If he is on the streets and hiding, he is probably more likely to come to Melbourne,’’ Miss Wilmot explained.

The fine has not deterred Miss Wilmot, who said she would continue to go back to Southern Cross Station and display the posters.

‘‘I’ll keep going back to the same station,’’ she said.

‘‘Southern Cross and Flinders St (stations) and the biggest hang-outs for homeless people.’’


New lead in missing Donny case

The unconfirmed sighting is the strongest clue Donny’s family has had in weeks, following his disappearance from an Echuca campsite on September 1.

Now more than two months since the 16-year-old ran off into the darkness, the Lake Boga sighting may hold new hope for a family torn apart by their missing son and brother.

Yesterday, the Lake Boga man, who asked to be known only as Brad, told The Courier he was backing his car out of his driveway when he encountered the boy he believed to be Donny.

Brad said the boy was hanging around his street and approached his vehicle about 9.30am on Thursday.

He stuck his head in my window and asked for $5,” he said.

“Usually I would have just said no, but he looked too young to be out walking the streets, so I gave him $20.”

Brad said he asked the boy whether he wanted a ride anywhere, but received only a mumble in reply.

“I didn’t think too much of it, but when I got home I saw the photos of Donny and I knew I had spoken to the same kid.

“I’m 99 per cent sure it was him.”

Brad said he had searched the area and found an old World War II bunker which had signs that somebody had been sleeping inside.

“The local paper had just done a story on him and I found a ripped-out page with his story on it down there,” he said.

“It could be just a coincidence, but who knows.”

Brad said he spoke to another boy, someone he presumed was homeless or had run away, who told him on Monday night that he’d seen someone matching Donny’s description.

“I gave him an old phone and asked him to ring me if he sees him again,” he said.

Donny’s sister Jacinta Jackson said his family was hopeful the latest sightings were confirmed to be Donny.

“It definitely gives us hope,” she said.

“We’re in contact with a few people up there and it sounds like the whole town is looking for Donny.”

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Donny Govan can call triple zero immediately.

Insight, Missing


JENNY BROCKIE: Rachael, your 16 year old brother Donny disappeared when you were on a camping trip. Tell us what happened?


RACHAEL O’KEANE: We went to Echuca to camp on the river for a weekend, my 16 year old brother had had a few drinks throughout the day, gradually, and then towards the night pretty much as soon as it got dark time he started acting very paranoid and freaking out and basically just wanted to go home but myself I'd been drinking throughout the day as well and I was unable to drive.


JENNY BROCKIE: And he ran off?




JENNY BROCKIE: He ran off into the bush?


RACHAEL O’KEANE: Yeah, in a heated argument between us and he just threw his hands up in the air and ran.


JENNY BROCKIE: Were there drugs involved as well as alcohol in this situation?


RACHAEL O’KEANE: He's smoked marijuana, yeah.


JENNY BROCKIE: When did you start to really worry and think he was missing?


RACHAEL O’KEANE: We waited three hours before we called the police, just we were hoping that basically he would calm down, he needed to just time to himself and he would return back to the camp site and three hours later when he hadn't returned, I started getting very worried and that's when we called the local police.


JENNY BROCKIE: So what do you think happened to him?


RACHAEL O’KEANE: Really, I have no idea, because we have had nothing since.


JENNY BROCKIE: How long has it been?


RACHAEL O’KEANE: Ten months.


JENNY BROCKIE: Terrible for you and your family, I mean just shocking not to know what's happened. Ron, you're aware of this case too?


DET. SNR. SGT. RON IDDLES: I'm aware of it and sadly though, those that smoke marijuana, one in five will end up with a psychotic disorder because marijuana, because the way in which it's grown now the THC content is so high, they end up with paranoid schizo. Now on this day there had been a lot of drinking, there had been a lot of drug taking, and he became paranoid and believed that the group that he was with were going to attack him and harm him. Now he's run off in the middle of the night. Now we're very close to the Murray River, we very close to water holes and lagoons and the most likely thing sadly is he's probably ended up in the river.


JENNY BROCKIE: Have you contemplated that idea?


RACHAEL O’KEANE: Absolutely. I kind of get a sense of hope that he's still alive because the next day there was a report to the police, a 92 year old lady reported that she'd fed a young boy who she believed to have been Donny, she gave pretty much close to his description of what he was wearing before she'd seen a photo of him. So we kind of have a hope that that was Donny and that he's not in the river, he's not in the bush, he's not in the water holes.