Anguish marks search for son
MORE than a year has passed since Lori O'Keefe last saw her son, but the mother of missing man Daniel O'Keefe is doing everything in her power to find him.
Lori has been visiting cities all over the country since Daniel's mysterious disappearance in July last year and is in Rockhampton this week to raise awareness for the family's Dan Come Home campaign.
It has been a difficult time for the family, who have put their lives on hold to track down their son and brother, with his older sister, Loren, leaving her full-time job to focus on finding him.
Daniel, who has been diagnosed with depression, went for a walk one afternoon in the family's hometown of Geelong on July 15 last year, and never came home.
"When someone goes missing, it's such a feeling of ambiguous loss," Mrs O'Keefe said.
"It took a long time to work out how to express the emotions, but I think that sums it up as best I can."
"It's not knowing that gets to you the most. Because a body hasn't been found you feel as though you should be hopeful, but because he has been missing for over a year you start to think you will have to start grieving."
The last confirmed sighting of Daniel was in Ipswich in November last year, but a number of unconfirmed sightings has led Lori to believe that her 25-year-old son could be living anywhere between Rockhampton and Cairns.
Lori said she does not know why her son left, but thinks he may have felt like his illness was a burden to his family.
"That's the only reason I can think of. There were no other signs.
"But I'm sure he doesn't know we are looking for him, because he would have contacted us if he knew.
"He is really all you can ever ask for in a person, so all we want is to find him and know that he is okay"
A police spokesman yesterday said 4700 people are reported missing each year in Queensland. While the recovery rate is 99.5%, there are about 260 people on the long-term missing persons register, dating back to 1970.
Please call 0478 661 092 if you have any information that could assist Lori O'Keefe's family or visit the website http://www.dancomehome.com.