- Newcastle Herald
THE worried mother of missing Metford teenager Zac Barnes has pleaded for any information which may lead them to the 18-year-old.
Zac has not been seen since getting out of a car and running away from friends whilst in a distressed state on the night of November 13 – a Sunday.
The apprentice bricklayer had appeared fine earlier in the day before something
triggered him to want to leave a friend’s house to get a train at Thornton
But on the way, Zac has asked his friend to stop the car before he got out and ran off near the intersection of Haussman Drive and Tripp Close.
He has not been seen since, has not been on social media, has no money or phone and has failed to return to work.
Police searched the area and canvassed residents last week.
They have returned on Monday and, along with State Emergency Service volunteers, are searching the area where he was last seen.
A police helicopter will also search from the air.
“None of the residents in the area have seen him, he hasn’t hitchhiked, he
hasn't gotten on a train, he is only wearing a singlet and shorts and work
boots,’’ mum Karen Gudelj said.
“We don’t know where he could be and we really don’t know why or what kind of mental state he was in.
“We need him to know that if he is thinking he might be in trouble, that there is absolutely nothing he could have done that would cause us not to want to help and support him.
“And we need his friends to know that nobody is going to get into any trouble for this. That we just want to know he is okay, that he is safe.
“Please come forward if you know anything, anything at all.’’
Ms Gudelj said Zac could be identified by a tattoo of a VB logo on his right calf, and asked anyone who may see him to contact police instead of approaching him.
He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, between 180cm to 185cm tall, of thin build, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Zac was last seen wearing a faded blue singlet, dark blue board shorts and work boots.
Anyone who has information on his whereabouts is urged to contact Maitland police on 4934 0200 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Emergency crews are searching bushland near the rail line at Thornton for missing teenager Zac Barnes.
But Police say the search has not been prompted by a tip-off or any "credible information" that they 18-year-old entered the scrub.
Mr Barnes was last seen on the corner of Tripp Close and Haussman Drive, Thornton, on November 13.
Central Hunter duty officer Inspector Glenn Blain said Monday's foot search was the second in the area, after an initial search using vehicles last week.
He said it was "part of the normal search process".
Police and 25 State Emergency Service volunteers combed the bushland on Monday morning in search of Mr Barnes.
Police helicopter PolAir was expected to conduct an aerial search of land behind the nearby Woodberry swamp at lunch time.
"We are still appealing to members of the public who may have seen him to contact police or Crime Stoppers [1800 333 000]," Inspector Blain said.
"We conducted the first search last week, we are conducting a more extensive grid search of the area [on Monday]."