MISSING Linton teen Donald Govan is a streetwise kid and his family his praying that’s enough to get him home safely.
More than a week since the 16-year-old old, affectionately known as Donny, vanished from a campsite at Echuca, and his family remains desperate for news.
Every day since Donny disappeared from the campsite on the River Track at 8.30 pm last Saturday, dozens of family and friends have been joined by complete strangers searching bush land between Echuca and Ballarat for any sign of the popular teen.
There has only been one confirmed sighting of Donny since he disappeared, when he knocked on a farmhouse door last Sunday morning looking for food.
Speaking to The Courier from Echuca yesterday, Donny’s older sister Rachael O’Keane said the family was desperate for news.
“We just want him home,” Ms O’Keane said.
“No words can really describe what we have been going through this past week ... it’s unreal. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”
Ms O’Keane, other members of her family, close friends and even strangers, including truckies using that route, have been travelling between Ballarat and Echuca each day looking for Donny.
They have been joined by Victorian and New South Wales police and State Emergency Service personnel, who have scoured through bushland, along the banks of the Murray River and in a nearby billabong.
“He’s a street-smart kid, although he had never been camping before ... he was out of his comfort zone. I’m praying that his street smarts will be enough to help him survive,” Ms O’Keane said.
As well as searching bushland along the Murray River and roads between Ballarat and Echuca, Donny’s family has also placed posters at bus stops, train stations, milkbars, pubs and service stations along the route.
“Every day we just drive up and down the roads and through the bushland, screaming out his name,” Ms O’Keane said.
She is concerned that Donny was wearing only shorts, a t-shirt and runners when he disappeared. He was also without a mobile phone or money.
Since his disappearance, Donny has missed his sister Katrina giving birth to her daughter, Harmony Rose, last Wednesday.
“He was looking forward to becoming an uncle again. I was sure he would have made it back for the birth,” Ms O’Keane said.
Donny’s disappearance has been described as completely out of character. “He’s such an easy-going kid ... a regular teenager who has a lot of mates.
Donny was wearing white three-quarter-length Billabong shorts, a black t-shirt with a Flight Path logo on the front and black skate shoes. He is described as Caucasian, 173 centimetres tall, slim build, shaggy light brown hair and wearing a spacer earring.
Anyone with information is urged to contact 000 immediately.