Missing man high on drugs before mystery disappearance
THE Gold Coast cop behind the desperate search for a Nerang resident who vanished on Tamborine Mountain as a cyclone neared more than five years ago believes the man likely perished in rough bushland.
Senior Constable Brendan Edwards told the Coroners Court at Southport that missing man Jesse Kearney appeared affected by drugs when he was last seen jumping in front of cars and dashing in and out of homes on the mountain on February 19, 2015.
Qualified field search co-ordinator Snr Const. Edward dismissed rumours which spread among Mr Kearney's friends and associates that the 28-year-old man had been hogtied and abducted, or otherwise fell victim to foul play.
"I can't say when I formed that opinion, it was just the result of inquiries that were made, the people he lived with and associated with. There was a rumour around the fact Jesse was hogtied and put in the boot of a vehicle," he said.
"None of those people could qualify that, they only said they had heard that and haven't got that as a direct statement from an offender.
"Any of those sort of rumours or that conjecture was not supported by any evidence. The only evidence I had was that Jesse was drug-affected, was in some sort of paranoia. He hadn't slept for seven days, was physically unwell, was a heavy user of drugs who was confused, running around naked in a storm in an area that has lots of dangerous and slippery territory.
"We've located certain items that indicated where he may have been, but haven't been able to find him."
Snr Const. Edwards said the "most logical conclusion" was that Mr Kearney ran into trouble and died in thick bushland.
"I've kept an open mind, I still do, but that's where I was left with that," he said.
Snr Const. Edwards told the court in his mind Queensland Police had done everything possible to find Mr Kearney.
A search was not launched until two days after a missing-person report was officially filed by Mr Kearney's mother.
"I think these incidences are so different on every occasion, the locations are always different, the reasons are always different as to why people go missing," Snr Const. Edwards said.
"I spent probably the first couple of years very invested in this. I was, myself and the other police, were desperately trying to get the answers we all want and I think we went over and above to search all the known locations."
Earlier in the first day of the inquest, Mr Kearney's friend Jessica Pascoe was called as a witness by phone. She spoke of spending time with the Nerang man before his mysterious disappearance and described him as a cannabis user and small-time ice (methamphetamines) dealer.
The inquest continues.
Originally published as Inquest begins into Coast man's disappearance