Elisha "Sam" KARMAS

Sam Karmas  Sam Karmas

                                                                               Sam with his wife, Jenny          

   One of the vans believed to be connected to Sam Karmas' disappearance.   One of the vans believed to be connected to Sam Karmas' disappearance.

The blue Ford, with NSW registration BE-32-CB, was seen travelling through the westbound toll booths on the M5 at 8.40pm (AEST) on August 11, along with a white Toyota van with NSW registration AU-05-JC.
Police believe the vans travelled to the Campbelltown and Southern Highlands area.
Investigators are keen to hear from anyone who was travelling on the M5 or surrounding areas and saw the vans.
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Sam Karmas or the movements of the two vans is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



Foul play feared over missing husband Elisha Karmas

A FAMILY man with strong Christian beliefs has vanished without a trace,

Police said yesterday Elisha Karmas, 52, known to friends and family as Sam, was last seen at his Punchbowl home on Thursday about 2pm.

His wife Jenny made an emotional plea yesterday to anyone who could help find the self-employed builder.

"My husband is a family man, he is a gentle kind man willing to help anyone he can help," she said.

Police said they were treating the disappearance as suspicious because Mr Karmas' bank account had not been touched and his vehicle, keys, wallet and tools were left at home.

"We have grave concerns for Mr Karmas' welfare," Chief Superintendent Peter Gillham said.

"It is completely out of character."Mr Karmas is 165cm tall, medium build, short brown hair balding on top, and is Caucasian in appearance. He was last seen wearing long sleeve brown t-shirt with a cream collar and stripes and brown leather slip-on shoes.

Wife desperate to find husband who disappeared suspiciously from Punchbowl

A DESPERATE wife has pleaded for information following the suspicious disappearance of her 52-year-old husband at Punchbowl.

Elisha (Sam) Karmas has not been seen for four days with police setting up Strike Force Flaggy to investigate what happened to him.

About 11am, on Friday, August 12 Jenny Karmas reported her husband missing to police.

Investigations have revealed Mr Karmas was last seen in the Wilga Street, Punchbowl area by people known to him about 2.30pm, Thursday, August 11.

Mrs Karmas has appealed for help from the public.

"Please if you know something, if you have seen someone acting suspiciously, let the police know," she said.

The manís bank account has not been touched and his vehicle with his wallet and tools has been located at his home.

The missing man has been described to police as 165cm tall, medium build, short brown hair balding on top, Caucasian in appearance, last seen wearing long sleeve brown t-shirt with a cream collar and stripes and brown leather slip-on shoes.

Anyone with any information that can assist investigators is urged to contact Bankstown Detectives or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Murder fears for kind father Elisha Karmas

  • Went missing after helping a neighbour
  • Police believe he may have been murdered
  • Family in shock over dissaperance
HIS last known act was one of kindness, helping a neighbour move furniture.

But Elisha Karmas has not been seen since and police believe the Christian father-of-three was murdered, reported The Daily Telegraph.

Homicide detectives have released images of two vans they believe may be connected to his disappearance on August 11.

Both passed through the M5 toll gates at Moorebank, heading west possibly to the Campbelltown or Southern Highlands areas, at 8.40pm the day Mr Karmas disappeared.

Investigators believe the blue Ford van, registration BE32CB, and the white Toyota van, registration AU05JC, were travelling together and appealed for anyone who saw them to contact police.

They have also questioned the man who was the last to see Mr Karmas alive. He said Mr Karmas left him after helping move furniture out of a home in Warwick St, Punchbowl, in the same street where Mr Karmas lived.

Widely liked in his neighbourhood where he helped people doing odd jobs for free, Mr Karmas, 52, who went by the name Sam, had no known enemies. "Sam is just a genuine guy who would always be willing to help someone. He'd be the first to put his hand up," his wife Jenny said.

"I don't understand why anybody would want to hurt our family - to take a good man from his family."

On the morning of his disappearance, Mr Karmas had breakfast with his wife. He never returned home. He didn't answer his mobile phone, his wallet and keys were at home and his tool kits were open in his utility.

"To me it looked like he left very quickly, to have his toolboxes wide open," she said.

The next day she spent the morning ringing his family and friends asking after him and going through his diary, ringing numbers he had written down. The last call she made before calling the police was to a man who owned a nearby home, and he said he had last seen her husband at 2.30pm that day.

The man said her husband helped him move furniture and fix some doors. He told her Mr Karmas had then left.

"Later I went over and spoke to him and Sam had left some tools," she said.

Murder police find cannabis haul in van

THE owner of a van that police seized in a murder investigation was charged with supplying drugs yesterday.

Andrew Woods, 34, of Punchbowl, was charged after cannabis was allegedly found in the back of his white Toyota van.

The van was seized for forensic testing on Wednesday by Homicide Squad officers investigating the disappearance of Punchbowl father of three Elisha "Sam" Karmas.

It was one of two vans that police said passed through the M5 toll booths at Moorebank, travelling west in convoy at 8.40pm on August 11, a little over five hours after Mr Karmas, 52, disappeared.

Mr Karmas, a self-employed builder, was last seen at 2.30pm that day by a neighbour in Punchbowl whose furniture he was helping to move.

Detective Inspector Mick Sheehy said police believed Mr Karmas had met with foul play but were still unsure of a motive.

He said Mr Karmas's disappearance was extremely out of character. He did not have a history of dementia or depression and there was no suggestion he was involved in any criminal activity.

Mr Woods arrived at Bankstown police station yesterday at 9am with his solicitor and was charged over the alleged discovery of about 1kg of cannabis leaf and 28 small cannabis plants in the rear of his van that was pulled over in Strathfield.

Mr Woods is due to appear before Bankstown Local Court charged with two cannabis possession and one count of supply on October 5.

Police have also seized the second wanted van, a blue Ford, and questioned the owner.

New van link for missing Punchbowl man

POLICE hope a picture of a blue van will help them track down a Punchbowl man who disappeared last month.
Elisha (Sam) Karmas didnít return home after helping a neighbour move house from Warwick Street, Punchbowl, on August 11.
He was last seen about 2.30pm (AEST) that day and was reported missing to police the following day by his wife Jenny.
Homicide detectives on Monday released a photograph of a blue van they believe may be connected with the disappearance.
Mr Karmas has short brown hair balding on top and is described as Caucasian, with a medium build and about 165cm tall.
He had been wearing a long-sleeved brown t-shirt with a cream collar and stripes and brown leather slip-on shoes.
The blue Ford, with NSW registration BE-32-CB, was seen travelling through the westbound toll booths on the M5 at 8.40pm (AEST) on August 11, along with a white Toyota van with NSW registration AU-05-JC.
Police believe the vans travelled to the Campbelltown and Southern Highlands area.
Investigators are keen to hear from anyone who was travelling on the M5 or surrounding areas and saw the vans.
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Sam Karmas or the movements of the two vans is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police divers search for missing man in the St Georges River

POLICE divers will today search the Georges River in Sydney's south as part of an investigation into the suspicious disappearance of a man in August.

Elisha (Sam) Karmas has been missing since August 11, after he failed to come home to his wife Jenny.

The 52-year-old from Punchbowl was last seen wearing a long sleeve brown T-shirt with a cream collar and stripes and brown leather slip-on shoes.

The State Crime Command's
Homicide Squad subsequently formed Strike Force Flaggy to investigate Mr Karmas' movements since his disappearance.

Divers will today's search a section of the Georges River and nearby Salt Pan Creek at Padstow Heights.

"We believe very strongly that Mr Karmas has met with foul play, and we are hoping this search will yield information that is crucial to our investigation," Detective Superintendent Michael Willing said.

Investigators are also continuing their appeal for information about two vans - described as a blue Ford with NSW registration BE-32-CB and white Toyota with NSW registration AU-05-JC. Police believe they are linked to Mr Karmas' disappearance.

The vans were seen travelling together through the westbound toll booths on the M5 at 8:40pm on August 11, towards the Campbelltown/Southern Highlands area.

Both vehicles have since been seized by police. Cannabis and cannabis plants were located in one of the vans, and an arrest was made in that regard.


Hunt for proof of foul play in case of missing Sama Karmas

THE answers to why and how Sydney man Sam Karmas disappeared may lie at the bottom of the Georges River.

Police divers yesterday began scouring the river and nearby Salt Pan Creek at Padstow Heights as part of their investigation into the disappearance of the father of three.

Elisha Karmas, known as Sam, vanished from his Punchbowl home on the afternoon of August 11 this year.

His wife Jenny reported him missing the next day.

"We have information suggesting there is evidence in the river which may help our investigation," said Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Michael Willing.

"Sadly that may be a body or other clues which will indicate what happened to Mr Karmas."

Since his disappearance Strike Force Flaggy has interviewed scores of people and are convinced the self-employed handyman has been murdered.

Police have some very "strong persons of interest" but need evidence before any charges can be laid.

"Mr Karmas may have had an argument or witnessed something which has led to his disappearance," Supt Willing said.

"There is nothing in his background to suggest he is involved in anything criminal. He is a hard-working, committed family man."

Investigators believe two vans with NSW registrations - a blue Ford, BE-32-CB, and white Toyota, AU-05-JC - are linked to Mr Karmas' disappearance. They were seen travelling westbound on the M5 at 8.40pm on the Thursday Mr Karmas was last seen.

They are believed to have gone to the Campbelltown and southern highlands area. Both vehicles have since been seized by police.

A 34-year-old Punchbowl man was charged after cannabis was allegedly found in the back of one of the vans.

If anyone has information they should contact police anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

Murderer used bleach to cover tracks

Detectives investigating Mr Karmas' mystery disappearance on August 11 believe the popular father-of-three, who was last seen alive at Punchbowl, where he lived, has met with foul play.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that a blue Ford van seized by police early in the investigation has been forensically tested. It returned positive traces of bleach.

At the time of his disappearance, Mr Karmas, 52, was acting as an "unofficial mediator" in a dispute over a deceased estate.

Police confirmed the disagreement evolved out of a carve-up of the estate, involved two main parties -- and the last person to see Mr Karmas alive was linked to the dispute.

A man named thought to be the last person to see Mr Karmas alive, has told police that he had asked the handyman to come to his house to help move furniture, and saw him about 2.30pm on the day he vanished.

Mr Karmas, who went by the nickname "Sam", was regarded as a kind-hearted person, who was happy doing odd jobs in the area and had no known enemies, police said.

"We are focusing on a number of key individuals, including a person that Mr Karmas was assisting to move furniture on the day of the disappearance," Homicide Squad commander Mick Willing told The Sunday Telegraph.

Late last week, police divers scoured the Georges River after a tip-off that key evidence, including the possibility that Mr Karmas' body was dumped in the water.

Mr Willing said indicators, including the bleach traces found inside the van, lead to a high probability that Mr Karmas has met with foul play.

A second van -- a white Toyota -- was believed to be travelling with the blue Ford on August 11 and was photographed at a Moorebank tollbooth at 8.40pm heading westbound on the M5.

Police believe the vehicles were heading to either the Campbelltown area, or the Southern Highlands. Detectives have followed leads in both areas and have executed a search warrant on a house in Campbelltown connected to one of the persons of interest.

"We believe that one (van) was following the other, heading to the Campbelltown area -- hence we searched the property at Campbelltown," Mr Willing said.

'Sam disappeared without a trace' says wife Jenny Karmas

sam karmas' family photos

Sam Karmas disappeared last year, leaving his family with no idea as to his whereabouts. Photography: Adrian Cook Source: Sunday Magazine

ALMOST one year ago, Jenny Karmas came home to find her husband of 26 years had simply disappeared.

Every time I stand at my kitchen window, I see it: my husband Sam's boat. It was his dream to own one and I can still hear him asking, "Does anyone want to come out fishing with me?"

He loved to share his enjoyment of it, but I'll have to find a new home for it now because I don't think Sam will be using it again; 11 months ago, he walked out of our home, leaving the doors open and his wallet and keys on the bench, and never came back.

Life has been in limbo ever since. Whenever the phone rings, I wonder if it's the police with some news. We live in a safe, suburban area. Sam was a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved neighbour. I tell myself, "People like Sam don't mysteriously disappear. He'll walk back through that door one day." But he never does.


Some people live their whole lives without meeting someone as special as Sam. I was blessed. I met him at 18; he was pretty much my first boyfriend. Four years later, in 1985, we married and bought a two-bedroom house in Punchbowl, in south-west Sydney.

A self-employed builder, Sam could see its potential and we planned to make it bigger for when we had children.

We wasted no time starting a family. Rebecca was born in 1986, followed by Daniel three years later and Sarah a year after that. Sam was so proud of his children - he took photos when they scored goals in sporting matches, and when Rebecca was the first in the family to go to university, he had her degree printed onto a gold plaque.

Sam drew up the plans for the house - a space for a big table so we could all eat together, a kitchen looking out over his vegie garden and four bedrooms. By the time he started doing the work, Rebecca was 14. That was partly because he could never say no to helping out a neighbour. When we did begin renovating, the whole family was involved.

The kids still look back on that time with fondness. It was a big family project; we were all painting, sanding or cleaning bricks. But there was still time for laughs. For a while, we had a big floor area with no walls, similar to a stage, and the kids would perform shows while Sam video recorded them.

When the house was finished, it was a real family home, built with real family love.

Every time I thought life couldn't get any better, it did - especially in 2010, when Sam and I were finally able to take a trip back to his native Greece together. I'd never seen him happier. He showed me the place where he was born, I met his relatives and we toured the islands. It was a perfect time.

And then, out of the blue, on August 11 last year, Sam disappeared. It was a normal Thursday. We ate breakfast together and he told me he was staying home to order materials for a job. I readied myself for work and kissed him goodbye. "See you, darling. Have a lovely day," he said.

When I came back at about 5.30pm, his ute was out the back and his toolbox and the shed door were wide open. "Hi, Sam. I'm home," I called. When he didn't reply, I assumed he was busy and hadn't heard me. We were due to go out at 7.30pm, so I prepared dinner and then called out again: "Sam, dinner's ready."

Still nothing. I went outside to look for him. He couldn't have gone far. He wouldn't have left the house and his toolboxes unlocked.

I tried his mobile. It was switched off. I thought he'd forgotten to charge it, although it was strange he hadn't left me a message. I figured he was dealing with an emergency and went to the meeting by myself.

When I returned, there was still no sign of him. By the following morning, I knew something was wrong. I called his brother and sister and we walked around the neighbourhood, knocking on doors and asking if anyone had seen him during the day.

The last time anyone saw him was at about 2.30pm. In typical fashion, Sam had been helping a neighbour move furniture and fix some locks. Then he'd said he had to go somewhere and walked off. No one knows where he went.

We called the police. The children and I were numb. We huddled together on the couch, frightened and bewildered. We kept looking out the window. When anyone walked past, we wondered, is that him?

So many thoughts raced through my head, I couldn't sleep. I knew something bad must have happened but, at first, I was sure he'd return. Maybe someone had tied him up somewhere and the police just had to find him. But as the days turned to weeks and the weeks became months, my hopes faded.

Life is strange and complicated when someone's gone missing. I tried to tell our health insurance company to stop taking the direct debit for Sam out of our account, but I couldn't say he'd passed away, especially with no death certificate.

I listen to the news with sharper focus. Every time there's a report about a body or human bones being found, I think, is it Sam? Are they going to call me? I'm relieved when they don't, yet I know I'm postponing the inevitable. One day, they'll call.

I experienced the same feeling when police divers searched the Georges River, where he used to take his boat. I wanted them to find something, but I also hoped they wouldn't, because that would mean he was definitely dead and then we'd have to deal with that.

We haven't had any sort of memorial. Friends have said they'd like to give thanks for Sam, but I don't want to do anything because the police might find a body and then we'll have to organise a funeral. But I think the time is coming when it would be a good thing to do so people can express their love for Sam and what he's done for them.

The house still looks the same as the day Sam walked out. I've packed up his clothes, but I haven't thrown them away.

I still have his tools, his truck and his boat. I know it's part of moving on, but these things are hard to sort out.

Big celebrations come and go, such as Sarah's 21st birthday, and we think of him and wonder if there's a chance he can still think of us, too. We spent Christmas with his family and, as I watched the kids play on a blow-up water slide, I found myself smiling: "Oh, Sam would have so been in there playing with them."

Despite everything, my faith has helped me cope. I hope my prayers will be answered. Someone knows where Sam is and I pray they'll say what happened to him.

Anyone with information on Sam should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. National Missing Person's Week runs July 30 to August 5. Visit www.missingpersons.gov.au.

Missing but not forgotten
* Every year, 35,000 people are reported missing in Australia.
* 85 per cent of missing people are found within a week of being reported.
* Today, an estimated 1600 people have been missing for more than six months.