Missing Person Jake Lyons  Missing man Jake Lyons.


Jake Lyons was last seen at his home in Dandenong North, Melbourne on Sunday 25 August 2014.
He has not made any contact with his family nor accessed his bank account since.
He was last seen wearing a blue hooded jumper, green jeans and black runners. Jake may have been driving a 2006 silver Holden Astra, registration ULC 965, which was recovered by police in Warner Reserve, Springvale on 31 August 2014.
Police hold grave concerns for Jake’s safety and welfare.
If you have information that may assist police to locate Jake please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Missing persons week: Heartbreak for families left behind


A young video gamer from Melbourne's outer suburbs who was feared dead after vanishing almost a year ago may be alive and living off the grid as a "ghost", a rare feat in the digital age.

Jake Lyons, 21, described as altruistic and intelligent by those his disappearance has tormented most, has not been seen since leaving his family's Dandenong North home on August 25.

He has little in common with Karen Rae, a 48-year-old Frankston mother of four, except both are still missing.

Fairfax Media can reveal there have been breakthroughs in both cases, including a potential sighting of Ms Rae the day after she vanished, nearly four months ago.

These developments come on the eve of national missing persons week, as investigators move to dispel common myths, including that choosing to vanish is a crime and that you must wait 24 hours to report somebody missing.

Half of the 9245 people reported missing in Victoria last year were located within 24 hours and about 75 per cent were found within the first three days.

By the end of 2014, almost 98 per cent of those cases had been solved, leaving just 123 people whose fate remained a mystery, the bulk of whom were children and teenagers.

In December, Mr Lyons' case was handed to the cold case missing persons squad after police received specific intelligence suggesting he had met with foul play.  But that information has now been discounted.

His father's car turned up at a reserve in Springvale with the keys carefully tucked underneath and no signs of a struggle within.

"One day I'm thinking is he alive, I really don't even know if he's alive or is he just living off the streets, it changes all the time." cousin Kim Brassington said.


"It's heartbreaking, you're always looking for them and if I drive along the freeway I think, is he in the bushes somewhere?"

Before he vanished, Mr Lyons had spoken of wanting to join the military, of starting a new life in the outback and also of emotional struggles, scattering what would later become clues in the hands of detectives.

Detective Senior Constable Kane Taylor, from the cold case and missing persons squad, said he believes Mr Lyons chose to walk off on his life and it was possible he could be living in the outback.

But he has not ruled out the possibility Mr Lyons met with foul play later or took his own life.

Extensive sweeps of Dandenong and the reserve where the car was found, including dredging nearby catchments, have failed to locate any trace of him.

To deliberately disappear would require significant planning, stealing somebody else's identity would set off alarm bells and changing a name would leave an electronic paper trail.

"Anyone's capable of it, but it's not something you would just wake up one day and decide to do," Senior Constable Taylor said.

In Karen Rae's case, a potential witness has come forward and provided police with details to form a sketch of an unknown man possibly seen with her the day after she vanished on April 15. 

Ms Rae may have been driven to the Seaford Hotel by a male friend the night she vanished but she was not captured on any closed circuit television footage at that hotel, nor the nearby Sands, that night.  

"She had friends she would meet up with there and other associates, we're hoping that from the 15th of April somebody may have seen her," Detective Leading Senior Constable Simon Florence said. 

Investigations have centred on whether Ms Rae has fallen victim to violence or chosen to leave.

Her mother, Christina Boyle, said: "It's something that is never too far away from your thoughts. I could be going about a normal day and just one thing reminds me of Karen and I'm immediately frozen. It's not having an answer that is the hardest – has something happened to her? Did she decide to leave? Is she alone?" 

"She's my daughter. I love her. I just want to know that she's ok." 

Ms Boyle said it was difficult to explain her grandsons what had happened to their mother. 

"I regularly see her 10-year-old son and it is heartbreaking trying to explain to him what's happened," Ms Boyle said. 

"He's very sad and misses his mother. He asks to see photos and talk about what she was like when she was his age. 

Falsehoods about missing persons, including the need to wait 24 hours, are the result of American crime dramas, said Rebecca Kotz, the head of the Australian Federal Police's national missing persons centre.

"If somebody you know is not where they should be and you've got that gut feeling that there's something wrong, go to the police, don't wait 24 hours," she said.

"That first 24 hours is critical, that first 24 hours could be the difference between finding people alive and dead."

If you believe you have information on the whereabouts of Ms Rae or Mr Lyons please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

with Deborah Gough

Can you help find Jake Lyons?

"We love you and we miss you. We're worried sick about you." - Women's Weekly

Aug 3, 2015


Alot has happened since Jake Lyons was last seen by anyone who knew him. Christmas has come and gone and when it was time to celebrate Jake’s 21st birthday this year, he wasn’t there to be flooded with key-shaped greeting cards and get rowdy with his mates. He was still missing.

Jake disappeared on 25 August 2014 almost without a trace. It was a Monday and according to Jake’s father, Rick Lyons nothing seemed out of the ordinary when he saw his son before leaving their Dandenong North home for work that day – little did he know that would be the last confirmed sighting of Jake.

Mr Lyons says when he got home that day at about 5pm he found his Scullin Street home unlocked, the gas on the stove turned on but his 20-year-old son was nowhere to be found. According to police it is believed that at some point during the day Jake left home and visited a supermarket on Springvale Road, Springvale. He purchased a drink, some snacks, withdrew $50 and vanished.

It is also suspected that Jake might have met with someone at the local Warner Reserve in Springvale where police located Rick Lyons Holden Astra in the car park. The car was locked with the keys placed underneath the chassis but police are still yet to discover why Jake went to that location in the first place.

“Nothing within the car suggests that he left in a rush,” said Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana in a statement.

Police also confirmed Jake has not accessed his bank accounts or used his social media channels since he went missing 12 months ago.

“Throughout this investigation, a number of avenues have been explored,” said Mr Fontana.

“Did Jake meet with foul play? Did he have a plan? Was he meeting someone? We have and continue to have a lot of the same questions as the Lyons family.

“At this stage, we are of the belief that Jake left of his own accord.”

In November, about three months after his son went missing, Rick Lyon’s told the Dandenong Leader that not knowing what happened to his son was tearing him apart.

"Jake, if you're out there, mate, I'd like you to ring me to let us know that you're OK," he said.

"We love you and we miss you. We're worried sick about you."

According to reports, Mr Lyon had told media that his son had been struggling with depression and was receiving counselling to help treat his condition. Jake had also reportedly dismantled his phone and computer on the day he disappeared.

Jake’s cousin, Kim Brassington told a local paper in January that she feared Jake might have taken his own life but because there is no concrete evidence of that the family has been left in limbo, just wondering what’s happened.

“You don’t know how you’re supposed to feel when someone just leaves your life unexpectedly,” Jake’s cousin Kim Brassington explains.

Jake is one of the 9245 people who were reported missing in Victoria alone last year and of those, more than half were accounted for within 24 hours. Less than 3 per cent of those cases are still open.

During this year’s National Missing Person’s Week, which will run from 1 – 8 August, police are out to dispel five main myths surrounding these types of cases:


Jake’s family and police want him to know if he is out there, he hasn’t broken any laws by going missing.

“Despite common misconceptions, going missing isn’t a crime,” reiterates Mr Fontana.

“If Jake is out there somewhere, that’s ok, we just want to give his family some closure.”

Facts in the case of missing man Jake Lyons

Missing since: 25 August 2014
Missing from: Dandenong North, VIC
Information from police: On Sunday 25 August 2014, Jake, then aged 20 years, left his home in Scullin Street Dandenong North. He has not made any contact with his family nor accessed his bank account since that date. Jake’s family and Police hold concerns for his welfare.
Description: Jake Lyons is described as being 178 centimetres tall with a medium build, Caucasian, straight brown hair, and unshaven, and was last seen wearing green jeans, a blue jumper and black runners.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Further information on NMPW can be found at Missing Persons


Police search Melbourne park after suspicious disappearance of Jake Lyons

    • Police fear a young Melbourne man missing for four months may have been murdered.

      The Cold Case and Missing Persons Squad has taken over the investigation into the disappearance of Jake Lyons after information recently provided to local detectives raised their suspicions.

      Mr Lyons, 20, was last seen when he left his Dandenong North home on August 25 and has not made contact with friends or family, used social media, or accessed his bank account.

      His car, a 2006 Holden Astra sedan, was found at Warner Reserve in Springvale, about seven kilometres from home, six days after his disappearance.

      Police were searching the reserve on Tuesday for any sign of Mr Lyons.

      Mr Lyons' father, Rick, told local media in November that his son was depressed and had been receiving counselling before he disappeared.

      Rick Lyons said that in late August he had returned home from work between 5pm and 6pm and found the house unlocked, the stove gas turned on, and his son gone. Mr Lyons had dismantled his phone and computer before leaving the house.

      Detective Inspector Jill Dyson said it was possible Jake Lyons had met someone in the park, but there was nothing abut his lifestyle that indicated he could have been murdered.

      She would not reveal details about the information that had resulted in her squad taking over the investigation, but said there had also been other information discovered since, which suggested the disappearance was suspicious.

      "It's probably too early to say whether there's any people of interest," Detective Inspector Dyson said.

      "There's certainly information we're pursuing. We haven't actually followed that to the end of the inquiry and hopefully when we do we'll be in a position to discuss it further."

      Police are conducting line searches with State Emergency Service volunteers in the busy park, which includes a cricket oval and a concrete culvert along its southern edge. Police divers may also scour a nearby lake after the search on Tuesday.

      The park had been searched by local police after the car was discovered, but not in as much detail.

      Jake Lyons is about 178 centimetres tall with a medium build, straight brown hair, and unshaven, and was last seen wearing green jeans, a blue jumper and black runners.

      His car was again seized by police from his Scullin Street home, where he lived with his father, last week.

      Rick Lyons said in the Dandenong Leader in November that not knowing what had happened to his son was tearing him apart.

      "Jake, if you're out there, mate, I'd like you to ring me to let us know that you're OK," he said.

      "We love you and we miss you, we're worried sick about you."

      Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.