Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Anthony JOHNSTONE

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Anthony JOHNSTONE

Delivered on : 3 June 2020

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Vicker

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : Mr Johnstone had been seen intermittently in and around Four Mile Camp, Wyndham but would run off whenever he was approached. His family were concerned for his welfare and on 30 October 1996 he was reported missing by his family to the Wyndham Police. Mr Johnstone has never been found.

Mr Johnstone was reported to have a long history of being an alcoholic which had in more recent times caused him to suffer hallucinations. He had gone through a period of not drinking before returning to drinking alcohol heavily. Due to his unstable state of mind, Mr Johnstone appeared to be frightened of people, even those he knew, and when approached he would run away. It appeared he had been exhibiting this behaviour in the days leading up to 30 October 1996 and alleged sightings of him subsequently.

Wyndham Police were advised of Mr Johnstone behaviour and on 31 October 1996 a search with family members and Aboriginal Police Liaison Officer was conducted in the Four and Six Mile areas to see if they could located Mr Johnstone, but they were unsuccessful. A search area of the Wyndham townsite and surrounding bushland were also unsuccessful. An ultra-light plane was used on 31 October 1996 and low flying aircraft with spotters. Experienced Aboriginal trackers were involved with a large group of family members. Enquiries were made with other communities in the Wyndham area, general Kimberley and Northern Territory, but there was no sighting of Mr Johnstone.

The Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt Mr Johnstone is deceased and died in the approximate time frame following his disappearance. The Coroner was unable to determine how the deceased died and made an Open Finding as to the manner of Mr Johnstone’s death.

Catch Words : Long Term Missing Person : Land and Air Search : Open Finding

Last updated: 16-Jul-2020

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