Long search of Avoca mine to find missing brother

DARYL Floyd remains committed to giving his missing brother Terry the burial he deserves.

A fundraiser to support his search of the Morning Star Mine at Avoca brought 150 people to the Ballarat Lodge last Friday night.

Mr Floyd was 10 when his brother Terry vanished from the intersection of the Sunraysia and Pyrenees highways on June 28, 1975, and presumably murdered. 

Terry has never been seen since, but Mr Floyd has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars and two years into searching an abandoned, debris-filled mine shaft near Avoca for his older brother’s remains.

“I hope my brother’s not down there, I hope Terry’s not there, but all the circumstantial evidence and people I’ve spoken to says he is,” he said.

“My parents always wanted to find their son and give him the proper burial he deserved. My parents passed away without ever knowing what happened to their son.”

The shaft is currently at a depth of 52 metres and the next goal is to clean out the main shaft to make it easier to work underground.

“We know there’s been a huge volume of water go through there at some stage,” Mr Floyd said.

“They last pulled out margarine containers dated October and November 1980.”

As well as helping to finance the excavation, last week’s fundraiser brought together numerous people who have been closely involved with the search, from the miners to local donors and even other families who had lost loved ones and wanted to lend their support.

Mr Floyd said the generosity and support of people had made all the difference.

“It’s all the people who are involved and have put their heart and will into this that gets this job done,” he said.

Guest speaker, former Homicide Squad detective Charlie Bezzina, said apart from solving murders, his role as an investigator was to provide families with answers and a way to find closure.

Mr Bezzina investigated more than 300 suspicious deaths, 150 high-profile murders and several baffling disappearances during his 17 years in the squad.

“I have an understanding of what Daryl is going through in wanting answers,” he said.

“The fact that he’s got the information there, he can’t walk away from it.”

The master of ceremonies was award-winning journalist and crime writer Keith Moor.

“If anybody in this room ever goes missing, you’d want to have a brother like Daryl,” he said.

“He will not rest until he knows for sure if Terry is at the bottom of that mine shaft or not.”

Donations to help fund the search can be made to “Avoca Mine Search” BSB: 640000 Acc no: 584 386 510.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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