Name: Nicola Sallese
LAST SEEN: Sheffield, Tasmania
Missing since: November 2008
Then aged: 69
FUN FACT: Could make anything on a wood lathe
Jason Sallese remembers the unthinkable day when his beloved father Nicola went missing in late 2008, having last been sighted near his home town of Sheffield, Tasmania. While no trace of Nicola Sallese has been found, Jason and his brother Nick continue to hope, while cherishing their memories of a loving father and grandfather.
“Even after 12 years, whenever I see a Toyota Camry the same colour as Dad’s, I check the number plate.”
Jason Sallese says he’s forced himself to move on emotionally from the day his father Nicola disappeared, but that day, 17 November 2008, will always be etched in his memory.
“When this sort of thing happens, your world changes in an instant; one minute that person is there; the next they’re not. From then on your life isn’t the same. And the real challenge with this kind of event is that it’s uncommon, so the police and the community don’t generally know how to respond. It can be very isolating.”
The day Nicola Sallese disappeared was like many other days in the then 69-year-old’s life. The retired electrician and proud grandfather had spent the latter part of the day seeing to personal business including paying some bills in his home town of Sheffield, northern Tasmania. His son Nick, (Jason’s brother) was due to visit him that evening, but was unable to make it because of work commitments.
When Nick phoned his father to let him know, he could never have imagined how the rest of that day and the years that followed would play out…
After the story, Loren and Jason discuss the challenges of dealing with police, media and the public attention whilst navigating the financial strain, administrative obstacles, and the emotional toll faced by children left behind.
What’s Missing was adapted from MPAN’s book, Too Short Stories. Jason and Nicola’s story was written by Belinda Smart. Get a copy of the book at Too Short Stories.
Hosted by Loren O’Keeffe
Additional writing for this episode by Erin Munro
‘Wildflowers’ by Jess Ribeiro
Audio production and music composition by Mike Migas
Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN)