Search for William John ‘Torro’ Torrens extends across two States
THE search for missing Fairview Retirement Village resident William Torrens has escalated during the past few days, with a police dragnet now reaching across northern NSW and into Queensland.
Mr Torrens, better-known as ‘John’ or ‘Torro’, walked out of the Moree nursing home at around 9.20am last Friday, January 5, and has not been seen since.
Barwon Local Area Command inspector Martin Burke said today (Friday, January 12) that he and fellow officers were following up on leads from NSW and Queensland as well as from the local region.
NSW Police has also released a CCTV image of Mr Torrens.
“An Image of Mr Torrens leaving Fairview is the last one of him, we think,” Mr Burke said.
“Again, we’re appealing for information, and we are still following up on leads. There’re some leads from Queensland, some local ones and some from neighbouring towns.
“We are working with police in those neighbouring areas and will continue to follow up on all the sightings,” he said.
Mr Torrens suffers mild dementia, diabetes and heart problems and requires regular medication.
These factors, as well as extreme summer weather where temperatures have nudged 40 degrees during the past week have increased fears for his safety.
Locally, areas close to Fairview Retirement Village have been searched extensively.
“We’ve utilised the police dog unit, police rescue drone, our trail bikes and also police on foot,” Mr Burke said.
It is also feared that Mr Torrens may have met with foul play since disappearing one week ago.
“We’re not ruling anything in or anything out at the moment, but it’s a challenge,” Mr Burke said. “Again, we’ll follow up on all the sightings that we get. But, obviously, as each day goes on, we are getting more and more concerned. The weather is not helping, either.
“It’s very difficult to hypothesise as to where he may be. The last know location for him is Fairview, and there is nothing more tangible than that,” Mr Burke said.
“We are casting a wide net and hopefully we’ll find him safe and well.”
Mr Burke said that social media will also help play a big part in locating Mr Torrens.
“Our local police Facebook page has been shared by NSW Police and it’s also been shared in Queensland as well as to various missing persons groups,” Mr Burke said.
Just the initial missing person report posted the day Mr Torrens disappeared has been shared more than 2000 times.
“It is getting a huge amount of circulation and the benefit of social media is that the news gets around – the more eyes and ears we have out there, the better.”
Mr Torrens’ carer, Toni McCarthey from Collarenebri, was in Moree on Friday morning to speak to print and electronic media and to help distribute A4 flyers appealing for help.
“There have been a few sightings and the police have been checking out everyone that has come forward with any sort of information,” Ms McCarthey said.
“We are now just hoping and waiting that Torro still might be in Moree or around the area.
“My first thought was that he might be trying to get back to Collarenebri or even over to his daughter at Deepwater.
“We also haven’t ruled out the idea that someone could be helping him and thinking they’re doing the right thing.
“If this is the case, we just want them to contact the police and let them know that he is OK.
“No-one will be in trouble but we just need to know where he is and that he needs to be on his medication . . . without his medication he will be quite agitated,” she said.
Ms McCarthey said Mr Torrens is very approachable.
“Torro is just a little bloke and can be quite humorous at times. He can fool people into thinking he is quite normal with his dementia, but by now he could be becoming quite agitated – throwing his arms in the air, that sort of thing,” she said.
“He likes being called ‘Torro’ and if anyone does see him and thinks it is him, all they need to say is ‘Torro, sit down and we’ll get you an ambulance because you look a bit disoriented’ and he will sit down and comply.
“He makes friends very easily and gets along with everyone – we just want him home safe and well,” Ms McCarthey said.
Words and Image: Bill Poulos
Barwon Local Area Command urges anyone that may have seen Mr Torrens since his disappearance or may know of his whereabouts to contact Moree Police Station immediately on (02) 6757 0799.
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Moree nursing home resident still missing: family fears for his safety (click link):