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Police and SES scour Ipswich for missing teen Reece Austin

AERIAL HUNT: An emergency services helicopter hovers above bushland in the hunt for Reece Austin yesterday.
AERIAL HUNT: An emergency services helicopter hovers above bushland in the hunt for Reece Austin yesterday. Rob Williams

IPSWICH police hold concerns over a missing 18-year-old man, missing for two days after heading into bushland amidst searing heat following a family argument.

Police and his family are worried for the welfare of Reece Austin, who left his Bass St home in Leichhardt after an argument with his sister.

Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate an 18-year-old man reported missing from Leichhardt on 18 December 2012. Reece Austin was last seen leaving a Bass Street residence around 11am.
Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate an 18-year-old man reported missing from Leichhardt on 18 December 2012. Reece Austin was last seen leaving a Bass Street residence around 11am. Contributed

He was last seen walking into bushland which he is accustomed to, without shoes, water, his wallet or mobile phone.

The search for Mr Austin intensified after SES volunteers, six horses from the stock squad and a helicopter failed to show up any trace of the missing man.

Ipswich police inspector Keith McDonald said Mr Austin has no history of mental illness and his family are extremely concerned for his wellbeing.

"Our main concern is he's been missing for well over 24 hours now with no access to water," he said.

"His family are quite distraught because this is extremely unusual for him.

"He has walked past his mum and was seen by some neighbours walking into bushland which he is quite familiar with.

"Our concern is the fact it's day two and he's not wearing any footwear or carrying his phone or wallet."

Police began searching bushland behind Leichhardt covering a stretch of territory 3km long by 500m at first light.

Police set up a command centre at the end of Jane St. They later turned their attention to Denmark Hill.

Police called off the search yesterday afternoon, and will reassess the situation before resuming this morning.

Insp McDonald said the missing man was familiar with the surrounding bushland, but it was concerning no neighbours had seen him since he stormed out of the family home. He said the tricky nature of the terrain added to the police's concern.

The stock squad was called in to give searchers better access to the difficult terrain.

He said Mr Austin's disappearance was out of character with the hot weather and intense storms adding to their concern.

The extreme heat had caused some SES members to retire from the search with heat stroke.

Members from the Marburg, Lowood, and Scenic Rim SES services joined the search.

Mr Austin is Caucasian, approximately 190cm tall and has blonde wavy hair.

He was last seen wearing a dark green shirt with blue sleeves, black knee length shorts, a hat, and no shoes.

Insp McDonald said if anyone has seen Mr Austin they should call Crime Stoppers immediately on 1800 333 000.

SEARCH: SES Group Leader Jeff Lindsay and Inspector Keith McDonald co-ordinate the hunt for missing man Reece Austin.
SEARCH: SES Group Leader Jeff Lindsay and Inspector Keith McDonald co-ordinate the hunt for missing man Reece Austin. Rob Williams

Topics:  leichhardt, missing man, missing persons, reece austin, ses


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