Name: Paul Wright
LAST SEEN: Rosanna, Victoria
Missing since: September 2003
Then aged: 27
FUN FACT: Animal lover who could dance
“After a few more days passed and we couldn’t locate Paul, we realised it was time to call the police. It just didn’t feel right. He could be hard to contact at times, but not to be seen or heard of by anyone and to just disappear was highly unusual.”
The initial police investigation confirmed that Paul was last seen at his home on Tuesday September 30 2003. All of his personal identification was found inside his house, and a check of his bank accounts revealed no activity.
“Over the past two decades, so many bodies have been found, which is always alarming. Every time we go through the trauma of wondering if it’s our son, but we never get a phone call. So, we carry on with our lives in limbo, waiting for the day that our son is found.”
On one occasion, Nick and Jenny were separately interviewed by two police officers who asked about Paul’s life and suggested that they might be hiding him. They have no idea of what sort of investigation was conducted, or whether any leads or theories emerged in that first decade.
“We feel that missing people are not the police’s top priority. Several years ago, they opened up a cold case section that looked into cases like ours. Officers came to our home and questioned us further about Paul’s whereabouts. It felt like they were just ticking off their checklist.”
Towards the end of 2019, an individual from Nambour, a town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, contacted Nick and Jenny to say that a person fitting Paul’s description had been shopping at her supermarket. She had made small talk with the man, who said that he’d lived in Melbourne 17 years ago…
After the story, Loren and Nick discuss the challenges of dealing with police, the legal hurdles of guardianship and the heartache for parents living with unending not-knowing.
What’s Missing was adapted from MPAN’s book, Too Short Stories. Get a copy of the book at Too Short Stories.
Hosted by Loren O’Keeffe
Missing Person: Paul Robert Wright
Facebook: @Missing Person: Paul Robert Wright
Nick and Paul’s story was written by Erin Munro
Research by Catherine Seccombe
‘Wildflowers’ by Jess Ribeiro
Audio production and music composition by Mike Migas
Graphic design by Maricarmen Rubí Baeza
Video and web design by Paulina Szymanska
Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN)