Above - age enhanced photo of what Ian may look like today
Significant identifying feature:
Tattoo - Cartoon style round bomb with lit fuse located between the forefinger and thumb of left hand measuring 2cm x 2cm
Ian Stanton went missing from Bundanoon in the NSW Southern Highlands, just after his 23rd birthday. The last person to see him was his dad Norm, on Friday, May 9, 2003. Since then, Norm and his wife Jean have feared the worst — just knowing Ian's okay would bring them enormous relief. Norm tells his story ...
"He had a good 23rd birthday, spent at home. Ian was in good spirits, saying it was his best birthday ever.
A week later I took some mail and food to his flat and we had a brief chat. He wasn't quite with it. He was probably smoking dope at the time.
Our son started smoking marijuana at a young age and he graduated to heroin in his mid-teens, which he kicked when he was 19. I've no doubt marijuana triggered a schizophrenic condition — I don't know whether there's a gene or whatever, but it has definitely presented problems for our young man.
On the following Tuesday, my wife Jean went to see him and he wasn't there. On the sink were the groceries and mail we'd left earlier — it wasn't even touched. His credit card, wallet and keys were still there. He was a bit short of money, yet there was a $10 note and quite a lot of change lying around. All his clothes were there and everything was left with the door unlocked. He'd just gone.
It led me to fear the worst. He probably decided to pull the pin. Since then we've experienced the rollercoaster of emotions. You hope, but the police haven't been able to shed any light.
He was very much a loner; we were probably his best friends. Ian had been involved with WIRES — he loved animals and rescuing wildlife, and he had a brief stint on a local FM station. He was in and out of different jobs, and there were times he had his life on track. But unfortunately he'd slipped away a bit in those weeks prior to him leaving.
He was living a kilometre from Morton National Park and looking for him in there is like looking for a needle in haystack. Ian did a lot of bushwalking and he knew the area well. The ranger told us Ian would know where to go where no-one would find him.
It's the not knowing that's the killer for us. It's a tough time, but you try to be positive."
If you have any information, call the NSW Police Missing Persons Unit on 1800 025 091.
- with thanks to WOMAN'S DAY magazine
Posters of a missing man will be distributed in the New South Wales Southern Highlands after concerns were raised by the man's father.
Ian Stanton was last seen seven years ago.
He was living in an apartment above a newsagency in Bundanoon. His father, Norm Stanton, says his son had drug and mental health issues but was in good spirits just before his disappearance.
Earlier this month, Mr Stanton spoke to the national media regarding an Australian Federal Police campaign to circulate age-enhanced images of his son.
But he is concerned that none of the posters had been circulated locally.
Police from the Goulburn local area command have confirmed that they have received posters of Ian Stanton and will circulate them in the Southern Highlands this week.
His father is hoping the images will lead to further information.