Foul play involved: officer's family
THE FAMILY of a police officer who went missing three years ago say they have even more reason to believe the officer met with foul play following a coronial inquest.
Senior Sergeant Michael James Isles has been missing for three years after he set out on a drive from Ayr to Townsville Police Station for a training seminar in September 2009.
Mr Isles had been on extended sick leave and suffered a breakdown after being accused of corruption.
He was the subject of a Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation surrounding allegations of corrupt dealings with a local drug dealer but was eventually cleared.
An inquest has been held in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this week and looked into Mr Isles's disappearance and the Queensland Police Service response to Mr Isles's welfare and extended sick leave.
Police who investigated his disappearance believe Mr Isles, whose car and clothes were found in bushland south of Ayr a few days after he went missing, committed suicide or perished in the bush.
But Mr Isles's son, Steven, has not ruled out the possibility his father met with foul play.
"For me personally and I believe for my family, this week's proceedings have actually assured more in my mind that it is less likely my father has committed suicide and probably more likely he met with foul play," he said outside court on Thursday.
"However...I believe that unfortunately we can only leave here with an open finding until such time we can identify further evidence."
The identities of four police officers involved in the inquest, including one high ranking officer, have been suppressed by State Coroner Michael Barnes.
One of the officers told the inquest on Thursday he ran into Mr Isles at a local pub in April 2009, a few months after Mr Isles took sick leave.
The officer said he spent 20 minutes with Mr Isles, who seemed quite "disgruntled" and had "highs and lows."
After speaking to Mr Isles the officer told his wife he believe Mr Isles had "lost the plot" and he had concerns for Mr Isles's mental health.
But despite his concerns, the officer did not notify anyone, including the Queensland Police Service.
Further witnesses are expected to be called at another inquest date yet to be fixed.