Hopes fade for missing Coast man as dense bush blocks search
UPDATE: THE land search for Sunshine Coast man Aaron Flynn has been called off with the focus now moving to air searches and nearby towns and truck stops.
Mr Flynn's sister, Renee Napthali, said about two dozen volunteers from around the Rubyvale township, northwest of Emerald, spent yesterday searching through dense bush in the area Mr Flynn was last seen while nearby farmers and their families searched the boundaries of their properties and waterholes.
Mr Flynn, 29, was driving from his home at Caloundra to Charters Towers for a family funeral when he ran out of fuel near Rubyvale late on Friday night, November 11.
Ms Napthali said it appeared he had slept the night in the car before setting out with a red jerry can and a blue esky back towards Rubyvale, presumably hoping to get some petrol. He was seen by a motorist walking along the road between 6am and 6.15am on Saturday, November 12.
Mr Flynn never arrived at Rubyvale and Ms Napthali said it was thought he had either been picked up by a passing motorist or had going into the bush to seek shade from the intense heat, which had got as high as 39C that day, and got lost.
Ms Napthali said the bushland in the area was dense.
"We've had to be very careful so we get lost (while searching for Mr Flynn)," she said. "
It would be very, very easy to get lost out there. We've tried to follow power lines and creek beds - there's no water in any of them - to keep from getting lost."
Ms Napthali said the thought of giving up the search and leaving Mr Flynn in the bush was "horrible" but the bush had proved too dense for a land search to make any progress - something she said police and the SES had decided on Friday.
The focus now was on the hope Mr Flynn had been picked up by another motorist and was, somehow, safe but lost somewhere.
"We wish we had more," she said. "If he was hitchhiking and someone picked him up, someone, somewhere has to have seen something."
To that end, Ms Napthali would be doing the rounds of truck stops in the area with pictures of Mr Flynn.
She conceded it was a slim hope. Even though he had left his phone in his car, Ms Napthali said Mr Flynn new her number and the number of other family members by heart and should have been in touch by now.
She also had been offered the services of an ex-police dog trained in finding human remains, something that would be called on in a few days time if other avenues didn't pan out.
The only other hope was one of the local landholders flying plane and helicopter searches over the bushland might spot him.
"He had a red jerry can and a blue and white esky, which should stand out, but it's quite dense," she said.
EARLIER: AN air and ground search is underway today to find a Sunshine Coast man who disappeared while driving to a family funeral at Charters Towers.
It's now more than a week since Aaron Flynn, 29, set out from his home at Caloundra to attend the funeral.
In an epic run, he appears to have covered more than 850km in his first day on the road, making it as far as Rubyvale, north west of Emerald before apparently running out of fuel.
Police say they found Mr Flynn's car in bushland just off the road on Rubyvale Road and a relative says a witness reported seeing him walking towards Rubyvale late last Friday night, November 11, carrying a jerry can.
Police and volunteers, along with the SES and helicopters, are now scouring the area in the hope of finding some trace of Mr Flynn.
Renee Napthali, posting ahead of today's search, said they were hoping for horses, bikes, and quad-bikes to help cover ground.
"At this stage we know things are not looking good at this stage but we have to try our best to find Aaron," she posted.
Anyone with information should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.