FOR Kelmscott couple John and Dolly Gallager, last week marked the
sixth Christmas without their son Shayne, who mysteriously disappeared in
Mrs Gallager still finds it difficult to talk about her only son and said it
wasn’t just Christmas that was tough.
“I don’t think it’s any worse than any other day of the year,” Mrs Gallager
said. “It’s hard all the time. It’s always on my mind.”
The lack of closure is the hardest part for the family, and they are
appealing for anyone with new information about his disappearance to come
The then 36-year-old was last seen driving out of Leeman on Tuesday
September 30, 2003, in a 1978 red Nissan Patrol. His car was never found.
While Shayne’s parents still hold out hope that he will one day return, they
know it is likely his remains are somewhere near Leeman, where he had been
working as a crayfish boat deckhand.
Over the last six years, when the remains of an unidentified person had been
found, Mr Gallager would check with the authorities to find out if it was
“There was another man found dead recently and my mind’s ticking over now –
it could be him. You just don’t know,” Mr Gallager said.
“There’s no closure. That’s the hardest part.
“All we can do is just hope. It’s just on your mind all the time, especially
at family gatherings when all the family gets together.
“I think that’s how we cope. We just stick together and hope for the best.”
Mr Gallager said Shayne had been feeling depressed before he disappeared but
had a lot to live for as a loving father to two young girls.
Many people, including extended family and friends, had been deeply affected
by Shayne’s disappearance.
“He would help everybody, that’s how he was. He’d do anything for anyone; he
was that sort of guy,” Mr Gallager said.
“We were like a couple of mates, always fishing together from Shark Bay to
Shayne had been living in Leeman for eight years with his partner and had
told his parents, two weeks before his disappearance, that he was coming to
Perth to visit with his two children.
Mr Gallager said the family was devastated when they realised Shayne was
missing and travelled to surrounding areas to distribute missing person
A police and aerial search, along with the posters appealing for
information, provided no clues.
Shayne was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue long sleeve shirt and Rossi
style boots, and driving his red Nissan Patrol in a northerly direction out
Details of Shayne Gallager’s disappearance:
Last seen: Tuesday, 30 September 2003
Age: 36 (would be 42 now)
Shayne was last seen on Tuesday 30 September 2003. Shayne was seen driving
his vehicle, a 1978 Red Nissan Patrol Short Wheel base, registered number
7CZ 988 in a northerly direction out of Leeman. Despite extensive inquiries
by police and family his whereabouts are not known. Concern is held for his
safety and welfare.
National Missing Persons Coordination Centre: 1800 000 634