Donny turns 17 but no party for family of missing teen

THE family of missing Ballarat teenager Donny Govan should have been telling him to have a happy 17th birthday, but yesterday they grieved his absence instead.

Nearly six months since his disappearance from a Murray River campsite, Donny’s whereabouts remains a mystery.

Older sister Jacinta Jackson said they usually celebrated February 10, Donny’s birthday, with presents and a big family dinner.

“It’s really hard, because everybody deserves to have a happy birthday from their family,” she said.

“We don’t get that luxury, to say that to him on his 17th birthday.”

Donny was last seen on September 1 by an elderly Echuca woman who cooked him breakfast, after he walked out of bushland cold and hungry that morning. 

The night before, Donny had been camping with his sister Rachael O’Keane and four friends from Ballarat at a Murray River campsite several kilometres from the woman’s home.

At 8.15pm, Donny began acting paranoid before he sprinted away from the others he was camping with, left the defined track and disappeared into thick bushland.

Since then, police and SES crews have scoured land and water in search of the teenager, but no trace has been found.

“Every day you wake up and shut your eyes and pray there’s a phone call,” Ms Jackson  said.

She said a Missing Donny Govan Facebook group, established in an effort to track down new leads, was still being shared around the country.

“We’re asking everybody to keep their eyes out and keep sharing his Facebook story,” she said.

“We’re just making sure we get as much awareness as we possibly can.

“It’s raising awareness, not only for Donny, but for all the other missing people and bringing them home.”

Meanwhile, Ballarat Police said yesterday there was no new information about missing Wendouree woman Suman Nanjundaiah.

The 35-year-old was reported missing on Wednesday morning. 

She is described as being 150 centimetres tall, slim and has long black hair.

She was wearing jeans, a black jacket and thongs when she left her home in Carpenter Street, Wendouree.

Anyone with information is asked to call triple-zero immediately.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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