|D.O.B:||18 March 1975|
friends at 1900hrs on 19/3/99 at Orchid Street, St Lucia Brisbane. He
became intoxicated and at about 2300hrs he and three friends attended a
party at Hawkins Drive, St Lucia. Sean had an altercation with a male
person in front of the residence, a fight took place and Sean and friends
returned to Orchid Street.
Sean had been drinking alcohol at the
party and indicated he would sleep in his car.
2345hrs Sean allegedly left Hawkins Drive and has not been seen since. His
blue 1992 EB falcon sedan Qld reg. 746 ENN is also missing.
The faces staring out are ghosts of the past, their faces reflect lives which suddenly froze the moment they vanished.
You expect them to be found as they are in the photos, still in their school uniforms, flares or stonewashed denim ready to pick up life where they left off.
One of the faces belongs to 31-year-old Lieutenant Sean Sargent who disappeared from the inner western suburb of St Lucia in March 1999 after going to a party with friends.
Sean served in the Defence Force for six years, attending the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, studying electrical engineering and working with satellite communications.
At the party Sean was involved in a fight before returning to his friend's house on Orchid Ave in St Lucia where he said he would sleep in his car for the night.
Sean and his car have not been seen since.
Sean's father, Tom Sargent, from Mackay, said the hardest part was not knowing what had happened to his son.
"Its pretty devastating really, if you had some answers then it would be not so bad but you just know nothing," Mr Sargent said.
"We've had a lot of funny phone calls where people won't talk to us, police have traced them and they come from Canada, England, and even a place called Sao Tome off the West Coast of Africa.
"That's been happening off and on since he went missing.
"You tend not to believe that he is gone, I'm thoroughly convinced he's running around out there somewhere."
In Queensland each year almost 4000 people are reported missing. Most are found relatively quickly - less than 1% of people remain missing for any length of time.
Nineteen people are listed as long-term missing on the AFP Missing Person's site for Queensland with six disappearing from the Brisbane area.
"We find about 99 percent of all people that go missing," Senior Sergeant Jim Ryan said.
"Some people just don't get on with their families; others just want to make a new life for themselves."
Senior Sergeant Ryan said a missing loved one left families in limbo.
"They hear a car or the front gate or a knock on the door and they think it's the missing person who has come home," Senior Sergeant Ryan said.
"They look in crowds for them or wait for the phone to ring or even walk down the street and look for them."
This year the state and federal police are mounting an intensive ad campaign surrounding National Missing Persons Week and the issue of mental illness in disappearances.
"The challenge is that every missing person's story is unique, some of the reasons we have seen are child protection or abuse issues others don't want to be around their family anymore and want a new start," Project Officer for the Australian Federal Police, Sarah Wayland said.
Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Council of Australia, David Crosbie said many people hid mental illness issues that were affecting them.
"When people withdraw they tend to isolate themselves from others and disappearing is a way of isolating themselves from others," Mr Crosbie said.
"Often people go missing because things have just got too much but often other people don't know that it's got to be too much, they appear on the surface to be coping, maybe they go a bit quiet but everything seems to be fine.
"The other thing that sometimes happens is that people seem more up and a bit animated after making a decision, when you see those sort of significant mood swings and changes in behaviour it's worth asking people why?"
Sometimes despite being missing for decades people are reunited with their family.
"There was one case in May this year, we located a man who had been missing for 31 years," Senior Sergeant Ryan said.
"We reunited him with his family, his children and grandchildren and even his mother and his sister on Mother's Day.
"He had left because he didn't get along with his father."
For those who are reported missing police urge them to get in contact with their families either anonymously through the police missing person's unit or via an intermediary.
All Sean's father wants is to have his mind put to rest.
"Let somebody know what you're doing, take the mystery out of it all," Mr Sargent said.
National Missing Persons Week runs until August 12
To report a person as missing call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Federal Police Missing Persons Line on 1800 000 634