Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Jason Marcus LAWSON

Inquest into the Suspected Death of Jason Marcus LAWSON

Delivered on :25 March 2021

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Jenkin

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : Mr Lawson was a 32 year old man who went missing on or after 11 December 2003 and there has been no contact from him since.  Mr Lawson and his partner had two children and at the time of his disappearance, he was living in a caravan at a caravan park in Baldivis.  His medical history included depression, anxiety and sleep issues and he had expressed suicidal ideation.  Mr Lawson also had a history of polysubstance use including alcohol and cannabis.

Mr Lawson’s partner last saw him on 11 December 2003, when she visited him to collect their son.  She described Mr Lawson as grumpy and a bit vague and thought he seemed tired.  Later that afternoon, Mr Lawson called his partner to apologise for his behaviour and during the call, she thought he sounded quite depressed.  He made arrangements to collect his bicycle from her the following day and although he was usually reliable, he did not arrive.  Neighbours later told police that they had not seen Mr Lawson since 11 December 2003.

On 16 December 2003, a counsellor called Mr Lawson’s partner to advise that he had missed scheduled sessions on 12 and 14 December 2003.  The partner became concerned for Mr Lawson’s welfare and went to the caravan park.  There was no answer when she knocked on his caravan door and she rang his mother who attended and opened the door using a spare key.  They found the television on and Mr Lawson’s belongings, including his wallet, mobile phone and medication, were in the caravan, although his keys were missing.  There was no sign of Mr Lawson and they contacted police and reported him missing.  They told police that Mr Lawson had recently been released from the Alma Street Mental Health Clinic in Fremantle where he had expressed suicidal thoughts and that he was taking antidepressant medication.

Police commenced a missing person investigation but did not immediately search bushland around the caravan park or conduct a forensic examination of the caravan.  There was no further information about Mr Lawson’s whereabouts until 24 April 2004, when two young men found personal items belonging to Mr Lawson in bushland in the vicinity of the caravan park.

A land search was initiated and members of the Police and the SES examined the area around where the items were found.  The search operation was discontinued on 26 April 2004 and there has been no sign of Mr Lawson since.

After considering all of the available evidence, the Coroner was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt Mr Lawson was deceased.  The Coroner was unable to determine how Mr Lawson died and made an Open Finding as to the manner of his death.

Catch Words : Missing Person : Mental Health : Search and Investigation : Open Finding

Last updated: 4-May-2021

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