John Forster is missing. Picture: Victoria Police  A green Subaru Forester similar to that driven by John Forster. Police want to speak to anyone who saw the car in the area around Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills on October 7. Picture: Supplied

Missing since: 
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Last seen: 
Diamond Creek VIC
Responsible jurisdiction: 
Year of birth: 
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Dr Forster is an academic at La Trobe University specialising in the genetic analysis of plants and animals.


 John Forster was last seen by his wife and their two sons at 10am on Saturday the 7th of October 2017, at their residence in Diamond Creek.

His wife had left the house with their two sons and on her return home, John and their vehicle a 1998 green Subaru Forester wagon, Victorian registration OSV092 were gone.

John’s wallet and phone were left at home. This wasn’t unusual for John to do, as he often went for a run or walk leaving these items at home.

That night, John’s vehicle was located at the Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills, the vehicle was parked near the water intake tower look out.

If you have information that may assist police please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Missing man John Forster may be 'disoriented' after bushwalking near Sugarloaf Reservoir


Emergency services are searching for a missing Melbourne scientist who may have disappeared while bushwalking in Victoria's Yarra Valley over the weekend.

John Forster, 58, was last seen at his Diamond Creek home about 1:00pm on Saturday.

His wife raised the alarm when the molecular geneticist failed to returned home that evening, after she had spent the day in and out of the house running errands.

The man's green Subaru Forrester station wagon was found at the car park at Sugarloaf Reservoir at 11:00pm.

Search crews have been scouring the bushland and reserve area around Sugarloaf Reservoir and Christmas Hills.

Mr Forster's wife Christine said her husband liked to take walks, and may have stopped at the reservoir on his way past.

"John is an avid walker and Saturday was a beautiful afternoon so he may have driven past and called in to go for a bit of a wander," she said.

"It is very possible that he's got disoriented because he's not familiar with the area."

Ms Forster said it was common for her husband to go for walks by himself near their home, but this did not seem to be a planned trip.

"[We're] totally scared because we want him home," she said.

"This is out of character. This isn't a place we've actually come here together.

"Where we are, the backroads of Diamond Creek are semi-rural but he would normally stick to the path, but John could easily walk 5 or 6 kilometres in an hour," she said.

Ms Forster said her husband was not a regular user of his mobile phone and did not take it with him. He also left his wallet behind.

Police keeping 'open mind' about man's whereabouts

Inspector Simon Rainey from Victoria Police urged anyone who saw the man on Saturday or his car to contact them.

"We have an open mind about what happened to John. He's a fit man, he likes to walk a lot," he said.

"We're hoping he's disoriented, that he may be out there.

"We're asking locals to check their outbuildings and rural locations to see if John has made his way to a farm or location nearby."

Inspector Rainey said the search and rescue team, water police, the air wing and the dog squad were out looking for Mr Forster.

There was CCTV at the reservoir but it provided no clues, he said.

Missing professor’s family hope Sugarloaf Reservoir visitors can help solve his disappearance

Herald Sun October 19 2017

Andrea Hamblin



THE worried wife of a Melbourne university professor missing for almost a fortnight has released an image of his car and determined what he was likely wearing the day he disappeared.

WORRIED family of a Melbourne university professor missing for almost a fortnight have returned to bushland where his car was found in a desperate bid to search for clues.

And the wife of La Trobe University professor John Forster, who was last seen at the family’s Diamond Creek home on the morning of October 7, has determined what her husband was likely wearing the day he disappeared.

Christine Forster has also released a photograph of Mr Forster’s green Subaru Forester, registration OSV 092, which was found parked near picnic grounds 20km away at Sugarloaf Reservoir on the night of his disappearance.

Mrs Forster is anxious for answers amid fears her husband, a keen walker, may have become disoriented in the bush.

“It’s the not knowing that’s the hardest part,” she said.

There has been no sign of Prof Forster and, without witnesses or footage of him behind the wheel of his car, police are only assuming it was he who drove it to the park.

Mrs Forster said she had not been to the reservoir with her husband in the past and he was not known to be familiar with the area.

“The lack of CCTV is problematic in that we don’t even know that he was driving the vehicle,” she said.

“We’ve got so little information to go on.”

Victoria Police crews and volunteers conducted a large-scale search last week and returned again on Tuesday to walk the banks of the dam, which is run by Melbourne Water.

Relatives and friends have been visiting the park to hand out posters and speaking to visitors while making contact with social media users who tagged themselves at the site.

The picturesque reservoir, on the doorstep of the Yarra Valley, is popular with picnickers, bushwalkers and tourists including groups who cycle and motorbike through the area.

“I stood by the gate and stopped everyone that was coming in and out,” Mrs Forster said.

Visitors who were there the day Prof Forster disappeared could help solve the case and the family has pleaded for anyone with information to come forward.

Police are also keen to speak with anyone who may have dashcam footage taken on October 7 of roads between Diamond Creek and Christmas Hills.

Police were initially not sure what Prof Forster had been wearing but Mrs Forster has since been through his wardrobe and, by “process of elimination”, worked out his likely outfit.

It’s believed he may have been in dark denim jeans, a charcoal polo shirt with a thin grey stripe on the arm band and collar.

His shoes were silver, dark blue and white, Brooks Adrenaline runners.

Mrs Forster said her husband was thin, fit and spoke with a slight “English twang”.

Anyone with information is urged to call Banyule CIU detective Adam Donnelly on 03 94508135