The anguish of a missing son

December 11, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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A worry, likely only appreciated by those who have faced similar situations, is how the parents of  missing Melbourne man Paul Alber describe their feelings today.

A recent photo of Paul Arber

A recent photo of Paul Arber

Waikato Field Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Karl Thornton, said the parents of the 38-year-old 2012 Victoria Jewish tennis champion arrived in Hamilton on Monday and since then have been in regular contact with Police searching for ways they as parents can assist those looking for their son.

“Both Sam and Richelle share the Police’s concerns for Paul’s safety and believe one of the important things is establishing his movements and locating where Paul’s distinctive grey ‘Wilson’s’ tennis tracksuit and blue, orange and white Adidas sports shoes are.

“The reason this is so important is that when he was seen on Grey St shortly after 9pm on Saturday he was wearing these items of clothing and when he spoke to a man at Galloway Park around 10pm he was still clothed like this but when found by the Waikato River, Paul was said to be just wearing a pair of black shorts.”

Mr Thornton said with a gap of six hours between sightings it was crucial for Police to be able to fill in the gaps and that’s where the public could be of the most help.

“We need to know if anyone saw Paul over this time, either carrying items of clothing, being partially clad or walking in just a pair of shorts.

“Equally important is that anyone in the vicinity of Victoria, Bridge or Grantham Streets before, around or after 4am on Sunday who may have seen a man dressed just in shorts contacts us.”

Mr Thornton said that since speaking to the two people who coerced Mr Arber out of the water on Sunday morning, a third person had been identified and Police hope to speak to that person today.

“From these people we have been able to get a clearer picture of just what Paul’s unusual behaviour was and equally important, what it wasn’t.

“Paul spoke of wanting to be closer to nature and spoke of his warmth towards other people. Earlier in the evening he was endeavouring to introduce himself to other people and none of his behaviour has indicated any desire to harm him-self or others.”

Such behaviour is at odds with the picture parents Sam and Richelle Arber have of their son, a man they describe as carrying and sensitive.

“Paul hadn’t shown anything that gave us cause for concern before he left for New Zealand.” said Mrs Arber.

“He had however, become more insightful about people around him and he expressed a desire that we would become as passionate about the matters he had become passionate about which were about the physical and spiritual wellbeing of others.”

The Arber’s said the family had received a lot of offers of support both directly and indirectly through the media and suggested that the best way people could help was by discussing Paul’s disappearance and contact Police if you have seen him or seen his clothing.

“Our fervent desire is that if you see or know something- you do something and that is contact Police,” said Mrs Arber.

Mr Thornton said land and water based searches would continue today as would searches of buildings, parks and reserves.

“Its important that none of us, Police, searchers or the public become too focused on one point of reference and keep an open mind to all possibilities. At this point all the parties involved are working towards the goal of locating a vulnerable person who may need our, or your help and will continue to be so until such time as we have information to confirm otherwise.”

Mr Arber is described as a male Caucasian; of slight build about 179cm tall with short dark hair.

A vegan who only drinks bottled water, Police, friends and family members assisting with the search believe Paul could appear vulnerable and disorientated.

Any information that may assist in locating Mr Arber can be provided to investigators by contacting the Hamilton Police Station on 07 858 6200 or leaving details at the mobile Police station situated at the southern end of Victoria St in Hamilton’s CBD.

Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with the independent Crimestoppers on
0800 555111.


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