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A coroner is expected to hand down preliminary findings into the disappearance of Jayden Penno-Tompsett during a road trip to Cairns,
A coroner is expected to hand down preliminary findings into the disappearance of Jayden Penno-Tompsett during a road trip to Cairns,

‘He taught me to love’: Parents’ heartbreak over missing man

CAIRNS-based Coroner Nerida Wilson will hand down preliminary findings on Friday into the disappearance of Jayden Penno-Tompsett with his mother still pushing for it to be ruled as foul play.

The 22-year-old was on a drug-fuelled drive from Newcastle to celebrate New Year's Eve in Cairns in 2017 when he had a fight with his travel buddy Lucas Tattersall and walked off into remote bushland near Charters Towers.

He has never been seen again.

Findings are due to be handed down into the disappearance of Jayden Penno-Tompsett on Friday.
Findings are due to be handed down into the disappearance of Jayden Penno-Tompsett on Friday.

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His parents Rachel Penno and Brendan Tompsett gave heartbreaking closing statements on the final day of his inquest in the Cairns Coroner's Court on behalf of their son who they described as being kind, funny and loving.

Mr Tompsett called Jayden his "greatest achievement".

"This kid taught me to love when he was born," he said.

Jayden Penno-Tompsett's father Brendan Tompsett leaves the Cairns court after closing submissions in the inquest.
Jayden Penno-Tompsett's father Brendan Tompsett leaves the Cairns court after closing submissions in the inquest.

"I've stitched my heart together with tears every day so I can bleed out every night.

"That will never stop because there is no closure.

"I think we all know what happened, but you never stop having hope."

Ms Penno said she "prayed this inquest brings the answers I've been searching for".

"My only mission is to find Jay and bring him home to his loved ones," she said.

"Losing Jay has been like a knife wound to the heart. My insides have been torn out.

Rachel Penno (right), mother of missing man Jayden Penno-Tompsett, has been searching for answers into her son’s disappearance. Picture: Brendan Radke
Rachel Penno (right), mother of missing man Jayden Penno-Tompsett, has been searching for answers into her son’s disappearance. Picture: Brendan Radke

"I don't want people to forget he was a human being loved by many and given the opportunity he would have found his way."

During the inquest the court heard Mr Penno-Tompsett and Mr Tattersall had been on drugs throughout their road trip north and had been attempting to make the 2300km trip in a single day.

Mr Tattersall gave evidence Mr Penno-Tompsett was taking ice every few hours and became angry during a stop in Charters Towers over missing drugs, before walking away.

SES volunteers and police during the search for Jayden Penno-Tompsett near Charters Towers.
SES volunteers and police during the search for Jayden Penno-Tompsett near Charters Towers.

Despite vanishing on December 31, he was not reported missing by friends until January 3 after Mr Tattersall continued onto Cairns and met their group of friends.

The group partied for two days, not realising the remoteness of where Mr Penno-Tompsett had disappeared and presuming he would eventually arrive.

Despite a police investigation concluding Mr Penno-Tompsett likely perished in the outback, Ms Penno's barrister Alex Raeburn argued for a ruling of foul play as the cause of death given the lack of any evidence about his whereabouts.

Originally published as 'He taught me to love': Parents' heartbreak over missing man



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