The enduring guardians of the late William 'John' Torrens have expressed
their sadness, but also relief, after finally getting the closure they'd
been waiting for, nearly a year-and-a-half on from when the Moree man
"We're just relieved," Ms McCarthy, who was listed as Mr Torrens' next
of kin with Fairview, said.
"I cried, of course, but then I felt relief that we finally knew what
happened and where he was."
Following Mr Torrens' disappearance, Ms McCarthy submitted a complaint
about Fairview's procedures to the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency,
which has since been dealt with.
Ms McCarthy said they're now trying to sort out the legalities and find
out when they can have a funeral for Mr Torrens.
In the meantime, she and Mr Timmins would like to thank everyone
involved in the search.
"I'd like to thank police and Fairview staff, they went out of their way
looking on their days off," Ms McCarthy said.
"Toro was quite the character and a lot of them [Fairview staff] were
quite fond of him.
"I'd also like to thank the Moree and Collarenebri communities in
general for their well wishes and continued searches - a lot of people
just walked down the river every day searching.
"Don and I just want to thank all those people."
Fairview Retirement Village facility manager Jane Mackney offered
condolences to Mr Torrens' family after being notified of his death by
"We offer our sincere sympathies to the family of Mr Torrens," facility
manager Jane Mackney said in a statement.
The confirmation came following a 16-month search for the 75-year-old,
who was last seen walking out of Fairview Retirement Village with a
plastic bag on January 5, 2018.
Despite public appeals from his devastated family and extensive land and
air searches of nearby areas, there was no trace of the elderly man,
until bones were discovered on the banks of the Mehi River by a local on
January 1, nearly a year to the day since Mr Torrens disappeared.
A crime scene was set-up during a three-day search of the area.
Initial forensics results of the bones had ruled out a connection to Mr
Torrens, and the remains were forwarded to a specialist laboratory in
Newcastle for examination. Investigators said further DNA and forensic
testing has confirmed the remains are that of Mr Torrens.
New England police said the death is not being treated as suspicious and
a brief of evidence is now being prepared for the coroner. It could take
up to 12 to 18 months before the findings of the coronial inquest are