Family step closer to solving mystery NYE disappearance
The pain of losing Jayden Penno-Tompsett has never left his grieving family who are calling for an inquest into his mysterious disappearance to be conducted.
The 22-year-old was last seen on New Year's Eve, 2017 at Charters Towers, but he never made it to Cairns to ring in the new year with his mate.
His disappearance sent shockwaves through the small community but police found no trace of him after days of extensive land and air searches.
Jayden's aunty, Sharelle Harwood, said there was many questions left unanswered that only an inquest could uncover.
Their hopes could be closer than expected with the Northern Coroner's office confirming it had carriage of the investigation.
"We are always getting tips but there has been nothing that has stuck out," Ms Harwood said.
"We believe an inquest will bring a lot of things up that other agencies cannot uncover."
Jayden was travelling north with a friend in a maroon sedan the night of his disappearance.
Police were told the pair drove about 20 minutes north of the Puma Roadhouse on the Flinders Highway before Jayden got out of the car after the pair had a fight.
He was last seen on the rural Stock Route Rd and has never been seen since.
His social media and bank accounts have remained inactive for the past two years.
Ms Harwood said their family had endured unimaginable struggle, especially Jayden's mother Rachel Penno.
"Everyone is dealing with it differently, some members of the family want to talk about it and others keep to themselves," she said.
"We just try and take the stress off Rachel … she has done so much since Jayden went missing."
Ms Penno ventured from Newcastle to Charters Towers the year after his death and set up a social media page dedicated to finding her son.
Ms said Jayden's disappearance left a huge hole in their extended family and they "just want him home".
"We get our hopes up for news information and then nothing comes from it … it's been a strange experience," she said.
"We all still believe there is some unanswered questions."
A spokesman from the Northern Coroner Nerida Wilson's office said she has carriage of the investigation.
"The mother has made an application for an inquest to be held into the disappearance of her son," the spokesman said.
"The Northern Coroner's office has acknowledged receipt of this request and will consider the application once all investigation material has been reviewed."
DISAPPEARANCES ON INLAND HIGHWAY
In August of 1970, a seven-year-old girl and her five-year-old sister, Judith and Susan Mackay, were raped and murdered near part of Flinders Highway.
- Two years later, Anita Cunningham, then 18, and Robin Hoinville-Bartram, then 19, went missing after attempting to hitchhike to Bowen, 250km east of Charters Towers. Ms Hoinville-Bartram's remains were buried in a shallow grave at Sensible Creek, 80km west of Charters Towers.
- Catherine Graham's body was found at Antil Plains Creek, just off the highway, in 1975. She was just 18.
- In 1982, 20-year-old Tony Jones mysteriously disappeared on the same stretch of road.
On September 23, 2009, Mick Isles, a local police officer, disappeared from Charters Towers.
- Reece Kearney, 26, went missing just days before Mr Penno-Tompsett. He was last seen filling up his motorcycle near the small town.
Originally published as Family step closer to solving mystery NYE disappearance