A CLOSE family friend of missing Canning Vale grandfather Ian Collett says his family have accepted they may not see him again, but are desperate for closure.
Sharon Tracey has known Mr Collett and his family for the past 40 years and said they had come to terms with the search turning into a recovery mission.
However, she said they desperately wanted him found and needed to know his fate.
“We believe he may have simply lay down to rest and not woken up,” she said.
“At this point in time we’re looking at recovery; it’ll be one hell of miracle if someone is looking after him.
“Whether dead or alive, we want to bring him home. It will bring peace to family and a lot of people out there searching every day.”
Ms Tracey said Mr Collett was an amazing person with a great sense of humour.
“He was funny, cheeky, a high school teacher with great sense of humour, we all just loved him,” she said.
“He was a very strong person in so many ways; he was the most adored dad.
“It’s hard for the (grand) kids, adults can deal with it but for the kids it’s hard, they’re asking ‘when’s grandad coming home?’”
While the police search has ended, the family has thanked members of the community who volunteered their time to assist with the search.
Ms Tracey praised the “amazing” efforts of tracking service K9 Trackers, but said their search had been made harder by Mr Collett’s movements.
“The difficulty has been Ian has continually walked up and down the same street, stretch of highway or location,” she said.
“While the dogs found lots of scent in different locations, it was almost impossible to be sure which day Ian was there, even though we knew the direction he was travelling.”
Mr Collett was reported missing after he left his home on Templetonia Retreat just after midday on Saturday May 19 and never returned.
He was spotted at a convenience store on Abernethy Road in Byford about 3.50pm on the same day and at the Albany Highway and South Western Highway intersection in Armadale about 5.35pm later that day.
The last confirmed sighting of Mr Collett was about midnight on May 19 on Albany Highway between Coglan Road and Jarrahdale Road in Mt Cooke.
He was wearing a medical alert bracelet with ‘dementia’ on it, along with a mobile phone number.