News

Former Echuca man believed dead, coroner finds

By Ivy Jensen

A CORONER has found that a former Echuca man who went missing almost six years ago died at that time.

According to ACM, the 44-year-old Aboriginal man was living in Swan Hill on September 4, 2014, when his cousin spoke to him in the early afternoon outside the Swan Hill Club.

The man's cousin recalled he was wearing a hospital wristband but said he was "alright".

The man told his cousin he was heading to the nearby Wamba Wamba Aboriginal housing community and started walking in that direction.

Coroner Simon McGregor said it was the last time a reliable witness saw the man alive, despite his body having never been found.

The man had several health issues, and in the two days before his disappearance saw medical practitioners and was admitted to hospital.

This month, Mr McGregor said he was satisfied the man had died on or shortly after September 4, 2014.

Mr McGregor said his reasoning was due to several reasons, including the man having made no contact with family members, Medicare or Centrelink, and comprehensive, nationwide proof-of-life checks establishing no record he was alive.

The man last made a withdrawal from his bank account the day before he disappeared and it had had not been touched since. He did not have another source of funds.

Mr McGregor said it was unlikely the man could survive without these funds.

No findings were made as to how the man died.

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