Ronald Richard PENN
|Ronald Richard PENN|
|Ronald was last seen at Wyong in late 1995.|
|Reported missing to: Inverell Police Station.|
Inverell family seeks closure in missing persons case
Friday, 17 February 2006 - Inverell Times
WHEN a family member goes missing and the years drag on without any contact or confirmation of their fate, those who are left behind to wonder never really have closure.
And, closure is exactly what the family of missing Inverell man Ronald Penn is seeking.
After nine years listed as a missing person, Ronald Richard Penn, who was aged around sixty at the time he disappeared, has not been seen or heard from since.
His bank account has not been touched and the last reported sighting of him by a family member (according to police records) was in October 1995. Christmas cards and letters sent by his family to his last known address have been returned unopened.
According to his family, Ron Penn frequently travelled between Inverell and Wyong on the NSW central coast.
He had been required to attend a court hearing in Wyong regarding a traffic incident in which he'd been involved.
He never arrived at that court hearing, and the judge awarded the case against him for not appearing.
Days later, Ron's burnt out vehicle was found abandoned in the Wyong area.
He was reported missing to Inverell Police by a concerned niece who had regular contact with him and who had not heard from him for quite a while.
Ron's brother, Roy Penn, who now resides in Adelaide, said Ron kept most of his personal papers and other items with him in that vehicle.
He has undertaken his own investigations into his brother's disappearance and believes, as do most of the family, that Ron has met with foul play.
And he has gathered a lot of evidence that points to that possibility.
Roy tried to track down the whereabouts of the burnt out vehicle in the months following his brother's disappearance, but has reached a dead end. The vehicle is long gone, and any evidence it contained as to what happened to Ron, gone with it.
Rumours have circulated over the years. The family wants an end to it all, and are asking the same questions as everyone else. Why did Ron suddenly disappear? Why was his vehicle burnt?
"I'm concerned and would just like to know what happened to Ron and what follow-up has been made to find him,” said Roy, who is two years older than his missing brother.
"Mum is 93 years old now, and has not had a day go past where she hasn't thought of Ron, or picked up the ringing telephone expecting him to be calling her.
"It's been a hard time for her, not knowing. She needs to know what happened before she passes away,” he said.
Roy believes a lot of evidence may have been destroyed that could have helped the investigation.
"Also a lot of the comments made at that time just didn't make sense – and still don't - know matter how you look at it.
"This is not raking over cold ground from a family looking for someone to blame for Ron's disappearance. We truly believe there was foul play involved and would like to see this case investigated again more thoroughly. There is more to it than we have been told.”
Roy says it is a very complicated matter.
"Ron was a big man in stature and personality. He was not easily intimidated by anyone. But, the last known phone call received by a member of our family indicated that he was frightened and possibly in fear of his life,” he said.
Roy has spoken to officers in the Police Missing Persons Unit and has been assured that this case was never closed.
"They have told us that investigations are always continuing until the case is solved, although it doesn't seem to be a very active investigation to us.”
Sergeant Steve Jeffery, one of several Team Leaders at the Missing Persons Unit based in Parramatta, said this week that there are some discrepancies in this case, including the date family members believe Ron disappeared and what is contained in the report.
"We regularly review the files and annually conduct inquiries to see if there is any fresh information that may help solve the cases,” said Sergeant Jeffery.
"Unfortunately, in this case there have been no new leads to date,” he said.
Nonetheless, Roy is determined not to give up searching for answers.
"If he's still alive, we need to know. If he met with foul play, we want to know. If there's a body out there, we need to know. We need closure so we can at least grieve for him and stop hoping, searching and waiting,” he said.