POLICE have scaled
down a search for a bushwalker missing and feared dead in Yarra Ranges
Warren Meyer, 57, disappeared after leaving on a 10km bushwalk on
Police could find no trace of Mr Meyer despite an expansive five-day
search of dense bushland in Melbourne's outer east.
The search had been scaled down and local police were patrolling the
area around Mt Dom Dom, where Mr Meyer was last seen.
Police hold little hope of finding Mr Meyer alive and have not ruled
out foul play.
Foul play feared
By Melissa Meehan
1st April 2008 02:00:54 AM
POLICE are keeping an open mind on the possibility that missing
bushwalker Warren Meyer has run into foul play.
The 57-year-old father of two was last seen leaving the Dom Dom Saddle
car park on the Black Spur for a 10 kilometre bushwalk on Easter Sunday.
The search for the missing and now feared dead Beaumaris man was
officially suspended on Friday afternoon.
The six day search of the National Park by more than 100 police, State
Emergency Services (SES) members and volunteers failed to find any clues
to his whereabouts.
The case was then handed over to the police Alexandra Criminal
Investigation Unit (CIU).
Senior Detective Stuart Walls of the Alexandra CIU said that parallel to
the search police had been conducting another investigation into the
missing man, but did not believe Mr Meyer was involved in his own
“We’ve looked at the family, at the structures and the possibility that
Mr Meyer could have been involved in his own disappearance - all those
sorts of things are always looked at,” Sen Det Walls said.
Police are now focusing on other avenues and want to rule out people who
were known to be in the Mount Dom Dom area at the time.
When asked if police suspected foul play, Sen Det Walls said police had
not ruled anything out.
He said to not find a backpack or any other item belonging to Mr Meyer
seemed very strange.
“We have never eliminated that Mr Meyer may have run into foul play.
“We have found no body, have no witnesses so we have to keep an open
mind,” Sen Det Walls said.
“His disappearance is baffling.”
Over the weekend police identified and located a man in his mid to late
30s who was seen at the Dom Dom Saddle Area of the park around the time
Mr Meyer went missing.
Police say that the man approached campers and got a lift with them into
Sen Det Walls said the man was still a person of interest to police.
Relatives and friends of Mr Meyer’s, a Canadian national, were at the
search base every day of the search.
Sen Det Walls said that Mr Meyer’s family were obviously extremely
“They are accepting of what has transpired, in the sense that everything
that could be done has been done,” Sen Det Walls said.
Healesville SES Controller and SES Commander of the search Karen Picone
said volunteers from all over the state joined in the search for Mr
SES members from Healesville, Marysville and Alexandra were at Mt Dom
Dom every day during the search.
“Volunteers took part in the search in very difficult conditions.
“There was extremely difficult terrain as well as cold winds, rain and
even hail on one day,” Ms Picone said.
Police are seeking assistance from members of the public regarding
information relating to the movement of any person in the Mt Dom Dom
region during the Easter weekend.
Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Warren Meyer is
asked to contact Alexandra police on 5772 1040 or Crime Stoppers on 1800
Search continues for missing hiker -
Mt Dom Dom
Release date: Wed 2 April
Investigations are continuing regarding missing hiker Warren Meyer.
Beaumaris man Mr Meyer has not been seen since he went hiking in the
Mount Dom Dom area on Sunday 24 March 2008.
It is believed he left the Mount Dom Dom carpark about 7.30am.
Police would like to speak to anyone who was at the carpark on that
Police urge anyone who was at the carpark during any part of the day
to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Search widens for missing man
Gary Tippet and Mark Russell - The Age
April 6, 2008
A NEW search will begin today for bushwalker Warren Meyer, missing in
the Yarra Ranges National Park since Easter Sunday.
Police search-and-rescue officers and volunteers will comb a
previously unsearched area of dense bushland next to the area around Mt
Dom Dom, in Melbourne's outer-east, where Mr Meyer, 57, was last seen.
The renewed search comes as the homicide squad reveals it has cleared
a man questioned last week after suggestions that Mr Meyer may have been
murdered. Suspicions had been raised after a man in his early 30s was
seen in the area around the same time.
A police spokesman said the man had come forward, as had a group of
other men who had given him a lift, and he had been eliminated from the
investigation. He said the man was simply another tourist to the park.
Inspector Phil Shepherd said this week: "We have found absolutely
nothing to suggest foul play at this stage."
He said police were "absolutely mystified" by Canadian-born engineer
Mr Meyer's disappearance. More than 100 police, State Emergency Service
members and volunteers spent six days searching the national park but
failed to find any clues.
Mr Meyer's wife, Zee, said she and her family were going through "a
living hell" not knowing what had happened — and clairvoyants were not
"Police have been inundated with so many false leads from
clairvoyants, to sightings that go nowhere, and they have to chase every
useless lead," Mrs Meyer said.
She said her family was having a difficult time coping with the
situation because Mr Meyer was "a loving husband and father and this is
an unbearable loss to us all". She believes her husband is dead.
Inspector Shepherd said Mr Meyer was a fastidious bushwalker who left
nothing behind when he trekked.
"In one sense that hasn't helped him or us either because he's left
no trace of where, and if, he might have left the track," he said.
Tiffany Crawford, Canwest News
Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2008
As Australian authorities investigate how an experienced Canadian
hiker could vanish while on a 10-kilometre trek last month, family
members from Calgary have flown to Melbourne to attend a memorial for
the man they fear may have been murdered.
Warren Meyer, 57, of Calgary, had been living in the small town of
Beaumaris, about 22 kilometres south of Melbourne, with his Australian
wife of 32 years, Zee Meyer. The civil engineer and father of two went
for a hike on Easter Sunday in the rugged bushland in the Mount Dom Dom
area near the family home, and hasn't been seen since.
Meyer's two sisters have travelled to Beaumaris, said Laurel
Leversage, one of Meyer's cousins, who lives in Ladner, B.C., a suburb
of Vancouver. Meyer's parents live in Calgary but are unable to attend
"His mother isn't well and can't travel," said Leversage. "It's very,
Leversage described her cousin as a graduate of the University of
Calgary who, like his wife, loved the outdoors. She recalled one visit
to Canada when the pair spent a lot of time in the wilderness.
"He made a journal of all the trees and seeds and leaves," she said.
"He was a great athlete and he just loved trees and hiking."
The family believes Meyer may have been shot accidentally by a deer
hunter and his death covered up.
Australian police said that when Meyer left the house early on March
23, he had with him a cellphone, a GPS device and everything he needed
to go "bush-bashing," or hiking off the track into the woods.
"His disappearance is baffling," said Senior Const. Stuart Walls with
the Alexandra police detachment in Australia. Police at one point
investigated whether Meyer was involved in his own disappearance, but
have since ruled out the possibility.
"He had no reason to leave. He had a happy home and he is financially
solid so there is nothing there."
Walls said, however, that police are not ruling out foul play.
"There is a bit of noise right now about whether it was a stray
bullet (from a hunter) but it's all speculation at this point," he said,
adding: "The family is distraught and because they don't have a body
they come to all sorts of conclusions."
Police have interviewed one person of interest but have made no
Meyer's disappearance launched a massive air and ground search
effort. For a week, more than 100 volunteers and search-and-rescue teams
combed the densely wooded area.
"It's very strange not to find a backpack or any other sign of him,"
said Walls. He also noted that Meyer was an accomplished mountaineer who
had been on treks around the world, including one in Nepal.
The family will hold a memorial ceremony on Thursday on the beach
near their Beaumaris home.
Wed, April 23, 2008
As they begin to let go of hope he will
ever be found alive, Warren Meyer's family just wants to know what
UPDATED: 2008-04-23 01:13:31 MST
By MICHAEL PLATT - Calgary Sun
Warren Meyer's family is torn -- do they say goodbye, or cling to
the hope a former Calgarian, lost one month in the Australian bush,
will turn up alive?
Laurel Leversage, Warren Meyer's first cousin, says the family is
deferring to the wishes of Warren's wife of 32 years, Zee Meyer, who
believes the outdoor adventurer is gone for good.
"Zee feels he isn't alive and she wanted to do something for
him," said Leversage, who lives in Vancouver.
Today -- Thursday in Australia -- Meyer's wife, son and daughter
will join two sisters from Calgary at a beachside memorial service
for the 57-year-old civil engineer, who vanished Easter Sunday while
on a 10-km hike in the thick bush around Mount Dom Dom, near
On March 23, Meyer, who grew up in the Calgary community of
Forest Lawn, left for a short early-morning hike through the
jungle-like terrain around Mount Dom Dom, carrying food and water, a
cellphone and a global position device.
When he failed to come back, Zee -- who met her husband when he
was backpacking from Kathmandu to London -- drove to the area and
held a three-day vigil in a parking lot, while dozens of
search-and-rescue rangers scoured the countryside.
They failed to find any trace of Meyer.
In the weeks that have followed, Leversage said family back in
Canada -- including his elderly parents in Calgary -- have waited
desperately for any word on Meyer, first with the hope he may turn
up alive and, more recently, in the desire to at least find out what
happened to him.
"It is the hardest part, wondering," she said.
"Your imagination goes crazy and it doesn't seem to end -- every
time a missing person case comes up, you think of him."
If it was just a simple missing person case, it might be easier
for the family to bare.
But the Australian media has been rife with suggestions of foul
play and intrigue, making any attempt to grieve all the more
Zee has told Australian reporters she fears her husband may have
been accidentally killed by deer hunters in the Yarra Ranges
National Park, who then covered up the death and fled the scene.
She's apparently based this belief on witness reports of gunfire
in the area on the day her husband vanished -- and an accidental
killing around Mount Dom Dom isn't without precedent.
Two other hikers have been shot by mistake in the same area
within the last decade. Police say it's something they're not ruling
out -- though they told reporters they're not ruling out anything.
"Until we have a body, we don't know how he died so we can't
eliminate anything," one senior constable said.
Police interviewed "a person of interest" who was in the area at
the time, but the man in his late 30s was released without charge
and detectives later said he was just a tourist.
Australian newspaper The Sunday Age added fuel to the fire of
intrigue when it revealed Meyer had declared bankruptcy, owing more
than $2.3 million a decade ago, but police quickly ruled out any
motive for a faked disappearance.
In Vancouver, Leversage says she hates to hear any suggestion her
cousin was a victim of anything but a sad accident.
"Things like that are such a waste of time and they take away
from the real issue, which is finding him -- as far as I'm
concerned, he was the most perfect guy you could ever imagine," she
Rather than the stray bullets of clumsy hunters, Leversage said
she imagines her cousin probably slipped and fell and was too
injured to carry on.
"He was probably hurt and just couldn't get out."
Back in Calgary, Meyer's octogenarian parents are refusing to
give up hope their boy is still alive.
"We hope it turns out well -- we don't want to say otherwise,"
said Glen Meyer, Warren's dad.
Glen said his son, whose children are now in their 20s, is a
wonderful father and a good guy.
"He's a great father and an outstanding person," he said.
Gwendolyn Richards, Calgary
Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The family of a former Calgary man who disappeared while hiking
near his home in Australia is preparing today for a memorial
Warren Meyer, 57, went hiking March 30 in the Mount Dom Dom area
near Beaumaris -- about 20 kilometres southeast of Melbourne --
where he lived with his wife and children.
He went out for some exercise, packing a cellphone, lunch and GPS
equipment and had planned to return at lunch time.
"And then he just didn't come back," said Meyer's cousin, Laurel
Leversage, from her home in Ladner, B.C.
At the height of the search for Meyer, more than 100 police
officers and members of the Bushwalkers Search and Rescue
Association, along with police horses, a dog and other volunteers,
scoured the area.
No trace of the father of two was found.
"There's just been nothing. It is very strange," Leversage said.
Meyer was an experienced hiker who loved the outdoors, she added.
"There's no reason for him to have disappeared."
Meyer's Australian wife of 32 years, Zee, has said she fears
Meyer was accidentally killed by a deer hunter and the shooting was
covered up, Australian media has reported.
The man's two sisters have travelled from Alberta to attend a
memorial service in Beaumaris.
His parents, who are in their late-80s, are too frail to make the
trip, Leversage said.
Meyer grew up in Forest Lawn and attended the University of
Calgary, where he studied engineering.
Relatives here have been keeping on top of the news via the
Internet, but there are few answers to be found.
"It's very sad because there's just no closure with it,"
Instead, the family will move ahead with a memorial service to
mark the life of the "wonderful husband and a great dad."
"Zee just wanted to do that. You have to do something."
"It's just an unsolved mystery at this stage," Victoria police
Senior Const. Karla Dennis said.
Deer hunters may have killed hiker
Mark Russell - The Age
April 20, 2008
THE wife of missing hiker Warren Meyer fears he may have been
accidentally shot by a deer hunter in the Yarra Ranges National Park and
his death covered up.
Zee Meyer said local residents had told her deer hunters were active
in the remote bushland where her husband disappeared a month ago and
there was evidence shots had been fired in the national park on the
Easter weekend when her husband vanished.
Alexandra CIU Detective Senior Constable Stuart Walls said the deer
hunter theory was a possibility.
"Until we have a body, we don't know how he died so we can't
eliminate anything," Senior Constable Walls said.
"We all know a stray bullet has killed people when they've been in
the bush. It is an area that is popular with hunters and certainly
locals have mentioned that on the previous day there had been larger
than normal gunfire in the area … (But) if it did happen, you would
expect there would be some sign and that's the baffling thing, there's
Two people have been accidentally shot dead by deer hunters in
Victoria in the past decade. Gary Paterson, 20, was killed when walking
his dog in the Yarra State forest, at East Warburton, in February 1999,
and a 74-year-old deer hunter died near Bairnsdale in August 2003.
There are more than 14,000 licensed deer hunters in Victoria and the
hunting season for sambar deer is all year.
Mrs Meyer, of Beaumaris, says she has spent many sleepless nights
trying to work out her husband's fate.
On March 23, Mr Meyer, 57, set out for an early morning bushwalk at
Mount Dom Dom in Melbourne's outer-east, with food, water, a phone and a
GPS. He planned to walk from Dom Dom Saddle for five kilometres towards
Fernshaw on Morleys Track then back again but the father of two did not
An exhaustive search covering 100 kilometres of tracks and roads and
more than five square kilometres of forest failed to find any trace of
him. More searches during the past fortnight have not turned up any
Inquiries by The Sunday Age have revealed that the
Canadian-born Mr Meyer was a former bankrupt who owed more than $2.3
million a decade ago. He had just $50 in the bank when he filed for
bankruptcy in 1997. Documents reveal Mr Meyer owed the bulk of the money
to the failed Pyramid Building Society.
But Mrs Meyer said the family had since turned their finances around
and now ran a successful engineering consultancy firm in Elwood. She
said the couple's relationship had been happy.
Senior Constable Walls said police found nothing in Mr Meyer's
background to imply he would fake his disappearance.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333
000 or visit crimestoppers.com.au