THE son of an elderly man who has been missing in Muchea for the past six months is hoping he will find his father soon and give him the dignified funeral he deserves.
Nick Zdunic and his family have been searching bushland in Muchea since December, when his father Juraj Zdunic left his Doubleview home and drove to Muchea, before getting bogged on Reserve Road and walking off, just four days before Christmas.
The 78-year-old experiences mild memory loss and it is believed he left his car and got lost.
Mr Zdunic said since his father’s disappearance there had been no sightings of him and it was still unclear why his father drove to Muchea.
“We don’t know why he was there; we didn’t know of any contacts he had there, but as far as we know we think it was to do with his memory loss and he must have been confused and lost,” he said.
Widespread searching has continued by family, friends, locals and volunteers, who have given their time after official searching from Police and SES finished in February.
Mr Zdunic said his father’s clothes and wallet were found in February, 7km from the site where his car was bogged.
He said his father was quite strong and fit and believes he kept walking north.
He said he and his family wouldn’t give up until he found his father.
“I have good days and I have bad days, I think about him every day, either how we can find him or some memory of him, and how I wish this had never happened and what could have been,” he said.
“The one thing I think about a lot is how lonely he must have been.
“It is the loneliest thing that could happen to someone, to get lost and die alone – it’s not the way he should have gone.”
Mr Zdunic said his father was a well loved and respected man in his community.
“He never had a bad word to say about anyone and no one could say a bad word about him,” he said. “We want to give him a proper and dignified burial, so people can pay their respects.”
He said his family would continue to hold searches until they found their father and appealed for volunteers to help.
“If one thing good has come of this it’s the new friends we have made albeit under the worst of circumstances,” he said.
“We need people to help on the ground and people on horses or motorbikes to help people on foot, so we can cover a larger area. Bushwalkers, wildflower lovers and anyone who likes nature might be interested as well.
“We will take help from anyone who will volunteer their time, but we’d like to be as co-ordinated as possible.”
To volunteer help in the search, visit the Missing: Find Juraj Zdunic Facebook page.
Anyone with information on Mr Zdunic’s whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.