George ROSS

  

 

Police search for missing person - Glen Innes

2009-04-28 10:48:35


NSW Police are searching for an 89-year-old man missing from a property at Glen Innes.
 
On the afternoon of Sunday 26 April, George Ross and his 84-year-old wife were driving on their property when their car became bogged.
 
They began walking back to the property, however the man's wife was unable to continue.
 
Mr Ross said he would walk the 1.5km home and return with another vehicle.
 
He did not return and his wife was located by another farmer at 11:30am the following day at which time police were notified.
 
Police attended the property and determined that Mr Ross had made it back to the home and retrieved another vehicle.
 
Information has since been received that about 9am yesterday (Monday 27 April), Mr Ross was sighted with this vehicle, a 1999 Toyota Camry with NSW registration WST726, on Kings Gate Road, east of Red Range. This is about 15-20km from the property where Mr Ross went missing.
 
Police believe that Mr Ross may still be with this vehicle, somewhere east of Red Range.
 
Police have serious concerns for the welfare of Mr Ross due to his age and the freezing overnight conditions.
 
The area is being searched extensively by police, SES and VRA with road searches being conducted. The Westpac helicopter is also assisting in the search.
 
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Mr Ross should contact crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.
 
 

Search continues for missing farmer

Posted Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:00am AEST - ABC

Mystery continues over the whereabouts of a missing Glen Innes district property owner.

George Ross, 89, was last seen by his wife on Sunday after their vehicle became bogged during a stock inspection on their Pinkett Road property and he left her planning to return with another vehicle.

Police now say there is information to suggest Mr Ross may have been seen on Monday between Glen Innes and Guyra east of the New England Highway.

He was driving a gold Toyota Camry and was last seen wearing an Akubra hat, dark green shirt and black nylon jacket with navy coloured work pants.

A search of the family property yesterday failed to find any trace of the missing farmer.

Grave fears for grazier

30/04/2009 8:50:00 AM
A SEARCH for a Glen Innes grazier is expected to be scaled back today, five days and four nights after the 89 year old man left a bogged farm truck and his stranded wife to retrieve another vehicle from his home on Sunday afternoon.

Police hold grave fears for George Ross, of ‘Lynden’ Pinkett Road, who has not been seen since the gold-coloured vehicle he was driving was spotted heading in a south-easterly direction along Pinkett Road about 20km from his home, mid-Monday morning.

Mr Ross and his 84-year-old wife Irene left their home to inspect cattle on another property about 2km away when their vehicle became bogged. Police state the couple began walking home to their property, but after about 500m Mrs Ross, who has recently had hip surgery, was unable to go any further and her husband continued the 1.5km walk home to get their gold-coloured 1999 Toyota Camry sedan, but did not return.

The alarm was raised at 11:00 on Saturday morning, about an hour after cattle breeder Ernie Maskey saw Mrs Ross sitting on a log just inside the gate to their property from a travelling stock route between Pinkett and Glen Legh roads, where he was holding cattle.

“She was sitting with a little dog and waving to attract attention, and had spent the night there. She was very very calm. I wanted to take her straight home but she wanted me to drive around the property first to see if we could see George,” he said.

“I then took her home. She was weak but in good spirits. She told me George had gone to get the car and told me which garage it was in, but it was gone.”

Mr Maskey said he returned to the stock route to have another look and then used a nearby farmer’s phone to ring police around 11:00am, before he and the farmer returned to the property and rang for an ambulance. Mrs Ross, who had spent the night in the elements dressed in a dress and a cardigan, was taken to Glen Innes Hospital and treated for cuts and abrasions to the legs, and exposure. She remains in hospital in a stable condition.

At first light on Tuesday, police in a Tamworth-based Westpac rescue helicopter conducted an aerial search which was extended to the Kingsgate area after a landholder who heard a radio report contacted police to say he had spoken with the missing man near Kingsgate mine, around 9am the previous morning. Later that morning police received a call from a person to say they had unknowingly followed Mr Ross’s car along Lawler’s Road and overtook it after it turned left into Pinkett Road.

“The descriptions were pretty spot on. By the first account Mr Ross was very disorientated,” Sgt Laurie Cattell told the Examiner.

Four crews from the Glen Innes VRA and one from the SES spent Tuesday conducting roadside searches in the Red Range-Pinkett-Mt Mitchell area, while a Guyra SES vehicle combed the road between Guyra and Wards Mistake. Yesterday 12 VRA, SES and police expanded to Oakwood State Forest towards London Bridge.

“A plane has been doing localised sweeps of the area from Pinkett Road south to Glencoe-Ben Lomond and between Oakwood west to the New England Highway,” Sgt Cattell told the Examiner yesterday afternoon.

He said unless the vehicle was spotted later in the day, the search would be scaled back today.

“Its thickly timbered country, and we’ve tried to cover it as much as we can. “We have grave fears for his well being. Apart from his age and the climatic conditions, he probably hasn’t had anything to eat or drink for days,” he said.

Described as 5’9”, 80kg, and clean shaven, Mr Ross was last seen wearing a grey akubra hat, a dark green shirt, black nylon jacket with navy coloured work pants and work boots. His 1999 Toyota Camry bears a NSW number plate WST726.

Missing man sighted

30/04/2009 1:26:00 PM

 

The 1999 gold Toyota Camry sedan that 89 year old grazier George Ross was driving when he disappeared on Sunday afternoon was seen this morning (Thursday).

The vehicle was last spotted heading in a south-easterly direction along Pinkett Road about 20km from his home, mid-Monday morning.

At approximately 9.30am this morning Glen Innes Police received a reoprt of a believed sighting south west of Glen Innes on the Maybole Road.

"A property owner spotted what was believed to be the vehicle travelling west and driving extremely slowly," Inspector George McGilvray said.

"Having no other leads we are now focusing the search on this area with both ground and air searches."

Missing man's vehicle found empty

30/04/2009 1:26:00 PM

 

The vehicle that 89 year old grazier George Ross was driving when he disappeared on Sunday afternoon has been found but the location of the driver is still a mystery.

Glen Innes Sergeant Laurie Cattell confirmed that the car had been found in the Wards Mistake area north east of Guyra by a member of the public and Glen Innes police were alerted at about 9am on Friday morning.

Land based searches are now being conducted by the police, Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) and State Emergency Service with air searches by the Westpac rescue helicopter also expected to take place.

The previous day police received a report that the car was seen south west of Glen Innes on the Maybole Road.

The witness stated that the car was travelling extremely slowly.

Neighbours learnt from radio

30/04/2009 8:52:00 AM

 

NEIGHBOURS concerned for the welfare of Mr Ross said they first heard about his disappearance from radio reports early on Tuesday morning - more than 18 hours after his absence was reported to police and almost 38 hours after he was last seen by his wife.

Residents living within 2km of the couple’s home have told the Examiner they were surprised they were not advised by police late Monday afternoon - but police said there was little benefit, given Mr Ross was in a car.

“It seems a bit crazy - when you’re a neighbour you’d think you’d be among the first they’d ask,” one woman said.

“We could have begun a search straight away and got a bit of a head start on Monday afternoon.”

Another resident said she was told about it after being rung by a friend who had heard it on the news on Tuesday morning, “not long after the helicopter had gone low overhead.”

“We rang the police and offered to help but were told it wasn’t needed,” she said.

But Sergeant Laurie Cattell said it wasn’t until late on Monday that police started to hold fears for Mr Ross’s safety.

“Those who notified us had conducted a thorough search of the property, and we looked where we thought he might have taken the car. If he’d got in a vehicle and become disoriented he could have driven anywhere,” he said.

“If the vehicle hadn’t gone and he was on foot, we would have notified everyone - but because he was in a car and it was getting later in the day, it would have been relatively pointless.”

A third neighbour summed up the concerns of others who know the couple: “They very rarely go anywhere without each other, and if so, only for a short time. It’s very worrying he is still missing.”

 

SEARCH CONTINUES FOR GLEN INNES FARMER

May 4, 2009 - NBN

The search continued today for an 89-year-old Glen Innes farmer who’s been missing for eight days.

George Ross’s vehicle was found 60 kilometres north west of Guyra on Friday near the entrance to the Guy Fawkes National Park, however there’s been no trace of the man.

SES, Rural Fire Service crews, ambulance personnel and local volunteers searched for Mr Ross in heavy gorge country and thick bushland today.

With the onset of cold weather, police say they have grave concerns for his safety.

Duty Officer, Dave Bramble, says reports of him are pretty fit for his age being 89 years old. Fairy fit and apparently a good bushman but he may have some confusion due to his age after suffering a mild stroke some time ago.

Still no sign of missing grazier

5/05/2009 11:41:00 AM
WITH no new clues as to his whereabouts, the search for Glen Innes district grazier George Ross in rugged country east of Guyra will be officially wound up today, just over a week since he went missing.

Thirty four SES, police, VRA and local landholders yesterday continued their search in the Ward’s Mistake area for Mr Ross, who has been missing since he left a bogged farm truck and his wife to get another vehicle from his home ‘Lynden’, Pinkett Road, on April 26.

Over the weekend, around 70 searchers, on foot, motorbike, horseback and in the air, spent the weekend combing heavily timbered country within a 3km radius of where Mr Ross’ gold-coloured 1999 Toyota Camry was found early on Friday morning, exactly 100km south-east of his home, ‘Lynden’ Pinkett Road.

The car, found by a Queensland man, was parked just inside ‘Paddy’s Land’, about 12km east of Ward’s Mistake, just on the leasehold property’s northern boundary with land now part of Guy Fawkes River National Park that used to be a leasehold block known as ‘Wongas’.

Locked, with his black coat and walking stick inside, Mr Ross’ car was taken to Guyra police station on Friday as a precautionary measure in case foul play became an issue in the investigation although there was no evidence to suggest this, a police spokesperson said.

In the air, search efforts were conducted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter on Saturday, and the Bankstown-based police rescue PolAir chopper on Sunday.

Yesterday, search headquarters were moved about 6km west to the property ‘Mornington’, nearer an old set of stockyards on another property, where a near-empty bottle of ginger beer was found on Friday. A lid from the same brand of drink was found at the site of Mr Ross’s car.

Police have not ruled out that Mr Ross may have been in the area for at least a day longer than previously thought, and therefore been able to walk a greater distance than that covered during search efforts. By 5:00pm yesterday, around 35 square kilometres had been covered on foot, horse or bike alone.

“The first sighting of his car near Kingsgate last Tuesday was positive, as was the second on Pinkett Road - so if he’d kept heading in that direction it is quite possible he would have ended up in the (Wards Mistake) area. It now seems highly unlikely that a reported sighting at Ben Lomond (on Thursday morning) was actually him,” Inspector George McGilvray said before leaving for the site yesterday.

Massive search effort -

In the ground, on horseback, and in the air, the search for grazier George Ross has brought together emergency service crews from across the northern part of the state.

SES crews from Deepwater, Ashford, Garah, Inverell, Warialda, Moree, Yetman, Armidale, Walcha, Guyra, Bingara and Glen Innes deployed crews and made up most of those searching on foot, which peaked on Sunday at 47. The crews were fed and watered by representatives from Guyra Rural Fire Service; Glen Innes VRA were on the ground undertaking work, while the search was co-ordinated, variably, by police from Armidale, Glen Innes, and a Lismore-based missings persons officer from Police Rescue. An ambulance rescue team were also on standby. In the air, search efforts were conducted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter on Saturday, and the Bankstown-based police rescue PolAir chopper on Sunday.

But of crucial importance was the local knowledge of the 27 horsemen and women, called together by a few of their own.

The first horses were organised on Friday morning, not long after a Queensland man told John Williamson of Pinkett, who was in the area looking for Mr Ross’ car, he had seen it further along Paddys Land Road.

“The bloke had spoken to a woman first and she had to go up the hill to get (mobile) reception and rang Glen Innes police. I had reception by the road, and rang them but the call was diverted to Armidale. Within an hour, (Glen Innes Sergeant) Adam Ralph was down here in a four wheel drive, it was really quick,” Mr Williamson said.

Sergeant Ralph called on experienced bush cattleman Ernie Maskey who used to own the Wongas block, to bring down horses, which arrived around midday.

“I rang (brother) Leon to get horses out here - by that time it was around 3:30pm and we rode until about seven.”

That night, via the bush telegraph, those with knowledge about the eastern fall country organised a search party, which involved 19 riders on Saturday, 29 on Sunday and half a dozen yesterday.

Police coordinators have been full of praise for riders.

“They obviously know this country very well. Their efforts have been really marvellous,” Police missing persons specialist Senior Constable David Connolly of Lismore said at the site on Sunday.

“The first sighting of his car near Kingsgate last Tuesday was positive, as was the second on Pinkett Road - so if he’d kept heading in that direction it is quite possible he would have ended up in the (Wards Mistake) area,” Inspector George McGilvray said before leaving for the site early yesterday morning.

“It now seems highly unlikely that a reported sighting at Ben Lomond (on Thursday morning) was actually him.”

However with nothing since Friday’s discovery of the soft drink bottle to go on, police late yesterday decided to abandon the official search.

“Despite the continuing effort of police, SES, VRA and local landholders, there have been no signs today as to which way he may have headed,” Sergeant Laurie Cattell told the Examiner late yesterday afternoon.

“With no further information from the public, we have made the decision to call off the search.

“Local landowners have said they will continue to search in areas that haven’t been looked at. If anything is found, we will certainly consider starting it up again,” he said.

Said one rider who had participated in the search at the weekend: “we’ll certainly be out again, and do our best to find him so he can be brought home.”

Big effort on foot, horse, bike and in air

5/05/2009 11:32:00 AM

In the ground, on horseback, and in the air, the search for grazier George Ross has brought together emergency service crews from across the northern part of the state.

SES crews from Deepwater, Ashford, Garah, Inverell, Warialda, Moree, Yetman, Armidale, Walcha, Guyra, Bingara and Glen Innes deployed crews and made up most of those searching on foot, which peaked on Sunday at 47. The crews were fed and watered by representatives from Guyra Rural Fire Service; Glen Innes VRA were on the ground undertaking work, while the search was co-ordinated, variably, by police from Armidale, Glen Innes, and a Lismore-based missings persons officer from Police Rescue. An ambulance rescue team were also on standby. In the air, search efforts were conducted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter on Saturday, and the Bankstown-based police rescue PolAir chopper on Sunday.

But of crucial importance was the local knowledge of the 27 horsemen and women, called together by a few of their own.

The first horses were organised on Friday morning, not long after a Queensland man told John Williamson of Pinkett, who was in the area looking for Mr Ross’ car, he had seen it further along Paddys Land Road.

“The bloke had spoken to a woman first and she had to go up the hill to get (mobile) reception and rang Glen Innes police. I had reception by the road, and rang them but the call was diverted to Armidale. Within an hour, (Glen Innes Sergeant) Adam Ralph was down here in a four wheel drive, it was really quick,” Mr Williamson said.

Sergeant Ralph called on experienced bush cattleman Ernie Maskey who used to own the Wongas block, to bring down horses, which arrived around midday.

“I rang (brother) Leon to get horses out here - by that time it was around 3:30pm and we rode until about seven.”

That night, via the bush telegraph, those with knowledge about the eastern fall country organised a search party, which involved 19 riders on Saturday, 29 on Sunday and half a dozen yesterday.

Police coordinators have been full of praise for riders.

“They obviously know this country very well. Their efforts have been really marvellous,” Police missing persons specialist Senior Constable David Connolly of Lismore said at the site on Sunday.

Glen Innes missing man search off

 May 6th 2009 - ABC

Police have officially called off the search for George Ross, from Glen Innes, because of a lack of new information.

Officers say they have had no new leads, or indication, of where the 89-year-old might be.

Mr Ross was last seen in mid-April, after conducting a stock inspection at his Pinkett Road property near Glen Innes.

His locked car was found east of Guyra, in the ward's Mistake district.

Anyone with information on Mr Ross is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers or Glen Innes police.

Searchers mark anniversary of quest to find missing man

06 May, 2010 10:16 AM

 

ON foot and on horseback, for six weeks they searched rugged bushland for their neighbour and friend. A year after the disappearance of Pinkett Road grazier George Ross, some of the locals involved in the search effort are getting together this Saturday to mark the anniversary.

Belinda Williamson, who helped co-ordinate a massive search effort by locals, said the idea came up after the funeral of Mr Ross’s wife Irene early last month.

“There was just a feeling that it would nice to mark the anniversary in some way, when those involved could get together and talk about it,” she said.

Mr Ross has been missing since he left a bogged farm truck and Mrs Ross to get another vehicle from his home ‘Lynden’, Pinkett Road, on April 26 last year. Five days later his gold-coloured 1999 Toyota Camry was found exactly 100km south-east of his home, parked just inside ‘Paddy’s Land’, about 12km east of Ward’s Mistake. For two weeks police co-ordinated an official search on foot, horseback and air involving emergency volunteers from across the state.

But while a weekend search was organised after a pair of socks believed to have belonged to Mr Ross were discovered on June 7, local horseriders would not give up until June 13 - by which time they had covered an area of around 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres). His body has never been found.

Mrs Ross died on April 1, never having the opportunity to hold a memorial service for her husband, as the law states a missing person cannot be declared deceased until seven years have lapsed.

Sergeant Laurie Cattell said although Mrs Ross had passed on, the found socks would still be DNA-tested but could not say when this would be done.

“It will still go ahead in case we find some remains later on. But because of the high demand on the scientists and a backlog, they would have been put on the backburner for more urgent cases.”

Sgt Cattell said he was still working on an application to the coroner to fast-track the official declaration of Mr Ross’ death and hoped to have that done “within six months”.

Ms Williamson said all are welcome to attend the get together, this Saturday night from 6:30pm at the Railway Refreshment Rooms.

“We can’t officially call it a remembrance event because technically by law, he’s still not deceased,” Ms Williamson said.

“At least, as a relative of Irene’s said at her funeral, she will now be able to do something none of us could - find George."