Jayden Penno-Tompsett has been missing since December 31.Jayden Penno-Tompsett has been missing since December 31.Missing Newcastle man Jayden Penno-Tompsett.

Jayden Penno-Tompsett, 22, has been missing since December 31.The NSW-registered maroon Nissan Pulsar sedan, which Jayden Penno-Tompsett was travelling in with a friend before he went missing.Jayden Penno-Tompsett, 22, was last seen in the early hours of December 31 in Charters Towers.Jayden Penno-Tompsett has been missing since December 31.



CCTV vision of missing man Jayden Penno-Tompsett, last seen at a roadhouse in Charters Towers on the Flinders Highway on December 31.CCTV vision of missing man Jayden Penno-Tompsett, last seen at a roadhouse in Charters Towers on the Flinders Highway on December 31.

CCTV vision of missing man Jayden Penno-Tompsett, last seen at a roadhouse in Charters Towers on the Flinders Highway on December 31.Source:Supplied



We can’t change what happened’: What led to disappearance of Jayden Penno-Tompsett

IT started with an argument on a boys trip, and ended with a frantic search. How could Jayden just disappear?

Andrew Koubaridis   news.com.au   January 6 2018

THE father of a young man who disappeared off a Queensland highway after a mysterious fight isn’t worried about what sparked the vanishing — he just wants him home.

Jayden Penno-Tompsett, 22, has not made contact with anyone since he was last seen near a Charters Towers roadhouse on the Flinders Highway in the early hours of December 31.

He and a friend got into an argument on the side of the road as they headed north on a boys trip away. Mr Penno-Tompsett and the friend where the only ones in the vehicle, with the others in their group travelling in a second car.

Queensland Police — who say they were “exploring all avenues” — have launched a major air and land search for Jayden, but have found no sign of the former demolition worker.

He hasn’t touched his bank accounts, only has the clothes he was wearing and didn’t have his phone when he disappeared.

It isn’t known what Mr Penno-Tompsett and his friend were arguing about or why the group left him behind.

They were travelling from Newcastle to Cairns to celebrate New Year’s Eve and had been planning the trip for months.

Brendan Tompsett, Jayden’s father, told news.com.au he just wanted to know his son was okay.

“What we really want is we need to know that he’s okay, as you can imagine the worst thing is the not knowing. We don’t care what the issues were, that’s really secondary at this point ... Just let us know he’s safe.”

He described his son as “a bit wild” who sometimes dealt with things alone and in his own time. But this behaviour was out of the ordinary.

“To not be in touch with some of his mates and to not let anyone know ... From what police have told me he hasn’t used his bank account so that is fairly concerning. It’s got scary.”

Mr Tompsett discovered his son was missing on Wednesday morning after Jayden’s close friend Jayson Hungerford called him. “He got in touch with me. It happened on the 31st and said his mates had tried to file a police report but they couldn’t because they weren’t family. they finally contacted Jayson, who got in touch with me.”

There were a number of unanswered questions about what happened on New Year’s Eve, but for now he just wanted to know Jayden was safe.

“Details are a bit sketchy. He had a blue with his mate and he got out [of the car] and he walked off.”

The group then left, leaving Mr Penno-Tompsett behind hundreds of kilometres from their final destination.

Mr Tompsett was reluctant to comment when asked about their action. “It’s something we’ll have to deal with ... [why it happened] we are trying to find out as well, but we can’t yet ... It’s not going to solve anything at the moment. It is what it is ... We can’t change what happened.”

He hadn’t spoken to the young men who Jayden argued with. “Other people have. It’s pointless me ringing him up and being another person in his face. I’ll deal with that one later.”

He has a message for his son: “Whatever is going on we just need to know, just a phone call to let us know you are all right. Being a missing person is the worst thing ever for a parent ever. I’d rather know he is in hospital I’d rather know anything at all except for nothing. It’s the not knowing is the worst thing. Just let us know you’re okay.”

Jayson Hungerford, the friend who called Mr Tompsett with the news his son was missing, was clinging to the hope he was hitchhiking and unaware of the rising panic in his loved ones.

“He wouldn’t hesitate to hitchhike and all that so I’m hoping he’s just on a very long trip home.”

He too was grappling with why he had disappeared.

“I think it was just the argument with his mate and because it was his mates car I’m thinking he just didn’t want to get back in his car cause they were fighting...But it is out of character for him.”

Mr Penno-Tompsett was “usually always on top of it, no matter the situation”, he said.

Queensland Police conducted an air and land search in the Tower Hill area on Thursday, but have since scaled it back to patrols after failing to locate Mr Penno-Tompsett or any items of interest.

“Police are exploring all avenues however accept that it is a possibility that Mr Penno-Tompsett, from Newcastle, is still travelling as part of his original plans and may not be aware that he has been reported missing,” said Charters Towers officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Dean Cavanagh.

Towers Hill property owners have been urged to check their properties for Mr Penno-Tompsett, while motorists are encouraged to contact police if they believe they may have seen him on New Year’s Eve

Mr Penno-Tompsett is described as caucasian in appearance, 175cm tall and with mousy-brown hair.

He was last seen wearing a black singlet, navy blue board shorts, and black and red thongs.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Queensland Police’s Policelink line on 131 444.

Jayden Penno-Tompsett last seen near mystery property

THE hunt for a missing NSW man has taken a strange twist, with police now saying he was seen near a mystery property.

news.com.auJANUARY 10, 201811:50AM

A FRIEND who left a missing Newcastle man alone on an isolated Queensland road after a heated argument has told police they parted ways in a different location.

Jayden Peno-Tompsett, 22, has not been seen since the early hours of December 31. He and the friend were travelling to Cairns to celebrate New Year’s Eve with others, who were in a separate car.

The friend originally said the location where he last saw Mr Peno-Tompsett was a roadhouse on the Flinders Highway at Charters Towers — but he has now provided a mysterious new location.

The man told detectives it was a rural property on an unsealed road with a red steel fence. “On the property is the skull of a bull on a post near a set of yards with silver coloured fencing,” Charters Towers Senior Sergeant Graham Lohmann told news.com.au.

The unsealed road ran off a bitumen road and a house was visible several hundred metres from the road.

Police have not been able to locate the property and have appealed to locals to help find it.

Mr Lohmann said the friend first spoke to police when he was 600 kilometres from Charters Towers. “Upon return to Charters Towers, the witness was able to clarify the description of the location,” he added.

Mr Lohmann said the friend was co-operating with police and had spent several days trying to pinpoint the location — but he has not been able to say exactly where it was.

News.com.au understands the two men argued about something — possibly money — and Mr Penno-Tompsett, who was driving, pulled over and left the vehicle. His friend then drove off. He told police he returned later and Mr Penno-Tompsett was gone.



The last person to see Jayden Penno-Tompsett breaks his silence

THE man at the centre of a highway vanishing in Queensland has spoken out about what happened when his “mate” went missing.

Andrew Koubaridis  news.com.au  January 12 2018

AS the desperate search for Jayden Penno-Tompsett goes on, the last person to see him has denied he is “some heartless prick that just left him there to die”.

Mr Penno-Tompsett hasn’t been seen since he stormed off from his friend Lucas Tattersall after an argument they had while travelling from Newcastle to Cairns for a New Year’s party.

The 22-year-old hasn’t touched his bank accounts, was upset according to friends and without his mobile phone — and police and his family fear the worst.

In a series of social media posts, Mr Tattersall lashed out at those suggesting he should have done more to help Mr Penno-Tompsett.

“I’m sorry to tell you but if someone wants to just up and leave and f*** off then that’s what they are gonna do. [You] don’t understand how hard I tried to help Jayden when I with him and calm him down so we can sort this out.”

He said he was heartbroken about what had happened.

“He is my mate and I’m hurt too please stop making out I’m just some heartless prick that left him out there to die.”

It’s understood the argument was over money.

Police have been told Mr Penno-Tompsett, who was driving, pulled over and left the vehicle after the argument during the early hours of December 31. Mr Tattersall then drove off. He told police he returned later and Mr Penno-Tompsett was gone.

He was not reported missing until January 3.

Mr Tattersall said as well as speaking to police he had spent “days” looking for his mate.

He denied his story had changed, and said he was doing everything he could to help police discover the mystery property where he left him.

At first he was believed to have been last seen near a roadhouse on the Flinders Highway at Charters Towers. He later gave more information, but the only things he could remember about the location — somewhere in Charters Towers — was it was a rural property on an unsealed road with a red steel fence. There was a skull of a bull on a post near a set of yards with silver coloured fencing.

Asked why he drove off and continued on to Cairns as planned, he said he was “owed money” there that he needed to fix his car. He said the vehicle was “on the verge of breaking down”.

“I had to wait about 4/5 days until I could get it fixed. Otherwise if I didn’t do what I did I’d be stuck in Charters Towers with no money or nothing myself.”

Many of Mr Penno-Tompsett’s friends and family are angry about the chain of events and believe there are unanswered questions about what happened. In an interview last week with news.com.au, Brendan Tompsett said he didn’t care about what the argument was over — he just wanted his son back.

“It’s something we’ll have to deal with ... [why it happened] we are trying to find out as well, but we can’t yet ... It’s not going to solve anything at the moment. It is what it is ... We can’t change what happened.”

In a lengthy Facebook post Mr Tattersall said: “None of you understand my side or the shit that was going on. Like I said [to] the police I’ve been speaking to and the ones who need to know it all have got it. Yous [sic] can make up all the assumptions about me that you want at the end of the day I know the truth. I want him home too yous [sic] know.”

He did not say what the argument was over but claimed Mr Penno-Tompsett had told him there was a warrant out for his arrest. This sparked an angry exchange with his father, who denied any warrant existed.

“Well Jayden had told me and all his other mates that cops had been looking for him so what’s what we were led to believe. Can only go off what I know,” Mr Tattersall wrote late yesterday.

Police have confirmed there was no warrant for his arrest.

Mr Tattersall did not respond to news.com.au seeking further comment.

Charters Towers Senior Sergeant Graham Lohmann told news.com.au they were “more than satisfied” at the assistance Mr Tattersall had given police.

“He’s been more than helpful, even up to today.”

But there was no good news on the search front today. A tip was received about a property on Stockroute Rd where the mystery property was possibly located, but they were unable to confirm it was the place they were looking for.

“We can’t be certain that was the place the missing person was dropped off,” Mr Lohmann said.

Two helicopters scoured the area while officers doorknocked properties without “any new information” being discovered.

Mr Lohmann said the search would continue in any area police had credible information about.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Queensland Police’s Policelink line on 131 444.

Mother of missing man Jayden Penno-Tompsett joins search party at Charters Towers


Rachel Penno's gut instinct tells her there is something more to the disappearance of her only son.

"I just don't know what that is at this moment," she said.

"But my gut is telling me there is something else. Jayden just wouldn't go bush like that.

"I've got to let the police piece this puzzle together."

Ms Penno did everything to get from Newcastle to Charters Towers, in North Queensland, where Jayden Penno-Tompsett mysteriously vanished on New Year's Eve on boy's trip to Cairns.

She hadn't slept, battled car troubles after hitting a kangaroo, and just 20 kilometres out of Charters Towers, ran out of fuel on the lonely Flinders Highway in the dark of night.

When she finally got to Charters Towers, she met with detectives and went looking for herself, sifting through the dry country and navigating the maze of back roads that weaves through farmland, even getting lost herself. It isn't hard to do.

On Wednesday, she was there again with police as they ramped up the search to find Mr Penno-Tompsett, canvassing a massive area that spans 85 square kilometres of rugged terrain near the Burdekin River, north of Stockroute Drive, which is currently the 22-year-old's last known location.

Emergency services have vowed not to stop despite the "huge effort" they have on their hands.

Described by senior police as a "slow, arduous" process, the search area is full of dry creeks and large vegetation that has prevented the use of helicopters.

Recent rain, including a massive dump on Monday of 86.1 millimetres, the drought-stricken town's wettest day in five years, has hampered search efforts.

From one extreme to the next, there has also been searing heat.

But Townsville district police inspector Roger Whyte insisted the search effort was "evidence-based" and vowed to leave "no stone unturned".

Some authorities still believe Mr Penno-Tompsett could be found alive with various water sources in the area. Detectives have also not ruled out the possibility the 22-year-old  hitchhiked out of Charters Towers.

"We would not be searching here if we did not believe we could find Jayden," Inspector Whyte said on Wednesday.

For a mother in uncharted territory, hope is everything.

"I still have hope he's going to come back," Ms Penno said.

"I just want him to come back, I just want him to come back."

Police again appealed for anyone who had information about Mr Penno-Tompsett's disappearance to come forward.



Mother's desperate search for son missing since New Year's Eve

By Harry Clarke - Channel 9

The desperate mother of a man who vanished from a remote country road on New Year’s Eve is preparing to return home once again, after her second attempt to personally find him turned up nothing.

But Rachel Penno, whose 22-year-old son Jayden was last seen near the north Queensland outback town of Charters Towers last month, has not given up hope.

Jayden Penno-Thompsett disappeared during the early hours of December 31 while travelling with a friend, Lucas Tattersall, from their hometown of Newcastle to Cairns for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The pair stopped off for petrol and snacks at a service station on the Flinders Highway before getting into an argument about 5.30am.

Mr Tattersall, who police say has been fully cooperative with their investigation, told authorities the argument led to Jayden storming off into darkness. He hasn’t been seen since.

Extensive land and air searches by police and the SES in the days following found no trace of Jayden, whose mother says his disappearance is totally out of character.

Ms Penno has spent the week in Charters Towers, scouring bushland and talking to residents living along the highway where her son was last seen.

It’s the second time she has made the 2300km journey from Newcastle to look for Jayden, having joined search teams during their final sweeps of the area last month.

“I'd do anything to get him back. I'd do whatever it takes,” a distraught Ms Penno told A Current Affair.

Jayden’s aunt, Karen Dobell, has also been assisting.

“There are several things that don't add up,” she said.

“I know Jayden would not be out there in the bush for three weeks because he wouldn't have the skills to survive.”

Theories among locals at Charters Towers, south-west of Townsville, as to what happened to Jayden have reportedly ranged from foul play to an attempt by him to disappear and hide.

However, with no firm leads, his whereabouts and the reason he cannot be located remains a genuine mystery to his family, and to authorities.

Senior Sergeant Graham Lohman, who is the officer in charge of Charters Towers police, told A Current Affair that Jayden’s disappearance had baffled everyone involved in the search.

“It's a very unusual matter that we are investigating and it's made worse by the fact that Mr Tattersall can't remember the exact location where he dropped Jayden off,” he said.

“There is no evidence to suggest that anything untoward has happened to (Jayden).

“We remain open to all possible scenarios and we are treating him still as a missing person.”

Anyone with information which may assist is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.