Updated age-enhanced image (right) of what Grant may look like in 2021.
Police have released photos of Grant. The first photograph is what he looked
like at the time of his disappearance and the second image has been
aged to show what it is believed he would look like today.
At 7am on 26
October, 1989 Grant Rodgers left his Albion Park, NSW home to attend work at Thirroul. He
failed to turn up for work and has not been seen since. Grant's 4WD was
found at Mount Kembla after he went missing. Grant was 29 at the time of his
disappearance. He had been working as a metallurgist.
There are fears for
his safety. Grant had been suffering from anxiety and depression at
the time of his disappearance and there are fears for his safety.
Vera never lost hope missing son was happy
In the days before her death a frail Vera Rodgers still held
out out hope that her only son, who had been missing for 23 years, was happy
"She said before she passed: 'I want to say goodbye to
Grant.' It was really, really sad to hear," daughter Jane Neville said
"Perhaps she and dad and Grant are all together now."
In 1989 the Rodgers family was dealt a massive blow when
Grant's four-wheel drive was discovered at Mt Kembla without any trace of
The 29 year old had left his Albion Park Rail home for work in
Thirroul on October 26 but never arrived.
It was particularly hard for mum and dad as his parents,
something I didn't fully appreciate until I became a parent," Mrs Neville
said from her home in country Victoria.
"Much of mum and dad's last years together before dad passed
away in 1999 were spent searching for Grant. They never gave up hope."
Each year Mrs Rodgers contacted the Illawarra
Mercury around the time of Missing Persons Week, desperate for any leads
from the public.
After a few years of no news, the couple packed up and left
the Illawarra region to run a post office in central Victoria.
"That was 20 odd years ago, they had a ball running that. But
they were never the same," Mrs Neville recalled.
"After Grant went missing they became really unsettled, so
they moved quite a bit.
"Mum and dad loved living in country Victoria for much of the
final phase of their lives together: gold panning, birdwatching,
Mrs Neville had feared her mother would not cope without the
companionship of her husband but, after his death, she picked herself up and
got on with life.
She loved getting letters from her sister Wilma who "wrote to
mum every week, entertaining her with tales of Wollongong and the beauty of
Mrs Neville said her mother had been an inspiration, who
showed incredible strength when dealt life's worst cards.
"Mum never, ever lost hope. She just thought Grant was out
there somewhere, she had faith he was happy," Mrs Neville said.
"She always felt Grant would come back."
Today, Mrs Neville carries the torch for her mother's lost
son and her dear brother.
"It was all so strange. But, like mum said, there is always a
chance he is out there somewhere. We've put notices in national papers about
mum's death, just in case."
Despite suffering the worst pain any mother could imagine,
she leaves her loving daughter filled with fond memories.
"Mum was lovely. She was very pretty, full of life and,
despite the sadness and distress of Grant's disappearance, still took
interest in everything and everyone around her."
A funeral service for Mrs Rodgers, who died on Friday, will
be held at St Andrew's Uniting Church in Maryborough, Victoria today.
Police appeal in three-decade-old missing person case
As Missing Persons Week continues, NSW police are
re-appealing for information into the disappearance of an Illawarra man more
than three decades ago.
Grant Rodgers, then aged 29, was last seen leaving his home
in Albion Park about 7am on Thursday 26 October 1989.
Officers from Lake Illawarra Police District were notified
when he failed to arrive at his workplace in Thirroul later that day.
Grant’s 4WD was found at Mount Kembla the following day, on
Friday 27 October 1989.
He has never been seen or heard from since.
“At the time of his disappearance, Mr Rodgers was described
as being of Caucasian appearance, about 180cm tall, with brown eyes, brown
hair and a moustache. He also had a large scar on the left side of his
back,” NSW Police said in a statement today.
“As investigations continue, NSW Police, together with Mr
Rodgers’ family, are appealing for anyone who may have information about his
disappearance to come forward.”
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott
today urged anyone with information about the disappearance of Grant Rodgers
to come forward to police.
“Grant was just a young man when he disappeared more than 30
years ago. He was on his way to work, and on a normal day would have come
home to his loved ones,” Mr Elliott said.
“As we commemorate Missing Persons Week this year, it is
important to acknowledge the devastating impacts for the people left behind
when someone disappears.
“His family deserves to know the truth about why Grant
disappeared without a trace all those years ago,” Mr Elliott said.
Lake Illawarra Police District’s Detective Senior Sergeant
Clem Scott said now was the time for anyone who knew how and why Grant
disappeared, to come forward.
“Someone somewhere must know what happened to Grant. His
family deserves answers, and even the smallest of clues could hold the key
to finding out what happened,” Det Snr Sgt Scott said.
“Grant’s family has been living with unanswered questions for
more than three decades and deserves to know what happened to their
much-loved son and brother,” he said.
Grant’s sister, Jane Neville, said it was difficult for
people to imagine how horrible it was for someone you love to disappear for
a day – let alone 32 years.
“There has never been a clear reason why Grant went missing,
or any productive lead to find him,” Mrs Neville said.
“Police and authorities, family, friends and strangers have
given us strong support, but he’s still missing. It’s getting hard to
believe that he is still alive after all this time,” she said.
“Any information – not matter how small you may think it is,
could be the missing piece to the puzzle. There must be someone out there
who knows something. If there is, please help.”
Anyone with information about Mr Rodger’s disappearance is
urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Missing Persons Week is an annual national campaign to raise
awareness of the issues and impacts surrounding missing persons and runs
between Monday 1 August and Friday 6 August 2021.
For more information on the campaign visit www.missingpersons.gov.au.
Lake Illawarra police still have hope to find missing man
Grant Rodgers left his Albion Park Rail home for work on
October 26, 1989, but never made it and was never seen again.
Despite the years rolling on, his family have never lost hope
that he is alive.
Police have renewed an appeal for any information about the former Wollongong
metallurgist, pleading that his family needs closure.
"It's OK, Grant ... you don't have to come back to this area
if you don't want to but please just make contact with Crime
Stoppers for the sake of the rest of your family," said Detective Senior
Sergeant Clem Scott, Investigations Manager at Lake Illawarra Police
"They're in pain every day, they need some sort of closure. Unfortunately
your mother passed away, she never got to say goodbye, she never got to
know the result of whether you're alive or not."
Mr Rodgers is one of a handful of long-term missing person
cases for the Lake Illawarra District, although authorities have never given
the then 29-year-old's 4WD was discovered at Mount Kembla following his
disappearance, a coroner's report found there was "every opportunity that he
was still alive".