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Thread: Jason Richards (32) is thought to have died from exposure after becoming disoriented while driving across Australia

  1. #1
    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Jason Richards (32) is thought to have died from exposure after becoming disoriented while driving across Australia

    http://mydeathspace.com/article/2011...ross_Australia

    A DOG belonging to missing Victorian man Jason Richards has been found in the outback, giving his family new hope he could be alive.



    The search for Mr Richards took a fresh twist after his pointer cross Amy was found wandering in the scrub.

    South Australian detectives confirmed the dog was found near Glendambo, on the Stuart Highway west of Woomera, about 120km from where Mr Richards was last seen.

    It has given new hope to family and friends who have spent three weeks searching for the father of two.

    "It could mean that he's still in the area and that's what we're hoping for," Mr Richards' father Wayne told the Herald Sun.

    The organisers of a Facebook page dedicated to finding Mr Richards said they prayed Amy's discovery would "leads (sic) us straight to Jason".

    Amy was taken to Port Augusta to be examined and treated by a vet.

    South Australia's police major crime squad is co-ordinating the search for Mr Richards.
    He was last seen near Woomera on June 21 as he drove from Darwin to Ballarat.

    He had been travelling in his blue Toyota Hilux ute with Amy, towing an aluminium boat.
    The boat was found torched near Woomera. Police said they found Amy in poor condition southeast of Glendambo on Sunday.

    Wayne Richards said she had cuts on her feet and appeared to have given birth to a litter she was carrying before his son vanished.

    "She's all skin and bones," he said.

    "She's skinny but it doesn't look like she was mistreated. They're looking after her and she's OK now."

    The dog appeared to have wandered on to a cattle station, whose owners called authorities.

    Wayne Richards searched near Woomera on June 28 following the sighting of a dog, but to no avail.

    "It appears she has been separated from him for some time," he said.

    Police spent the weekend searching bush near Woomera from the air and the ground. They will now concentrate their search around Glendambo.

    Jason's brother David and Jason's partner Jess Laidlaw have travelled to the area from Ballarat to help the police search.



    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/miss...#ixzz1RqX1QdwX

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mis...80964105291994

    Ths area the dog was found - ie nothing but desert




    Last edited by Olivia; 09-19-2011 at 01:56 PM.

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    thats a lot of sheep for 30 humans to look after.

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    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    This is so creepy.





    WHY would Jason Richards send this text message to his sister and then disappear off the face of the Earth ?

    Jason Neil Richards was meant to be home 17 days ago.

    He was to drive straight "down the guts" from Darwin, past Tennant Creek, through Port Augusta, on to Adelaide then across the border and home to his family in Ballarat.

    He never made it. Or at least, he hasn't yet.

    Just what has happened to Jason, 29, has mystified Outback dwellers, stumped detectives and devastated those who love him.

    Why would a doting dad, eager to see his partner and kids after three months away, vanish without a trace?

    Has he suffered a terrible accident in Australia's infamous red centre?

    Did someone or something scare him into hiding?

    Foul play?

    The Herald Sun has interviewed witnesses, relatives and South Australian police and discovered that detectives are pursuing an ominous theory: the young man, exhausted after a long drive, disappeared believing he was being stalked in the Outback.

    Police will launch a fresh air search for him today.

    The saga began on Sunday, June 19.

    It was 8.30pm when Jason rolled up his swag, attached his boat to his blue Hilux ute, called his dog Amy into his truck and waved goodbye to relatives in Darwin.

    He showed no sign of nerves about the journey ahead.

    "Everything was just normal," sister Danielle Wilkinson, who was extremely close to her little brother, says.

    She tearfully recalls how she and her children had baked him farewell cupcakes, icing them with the words "Bye bye Jase, we love you".

    The kids chased him down the driveway as he drove off.

    "He loved Darwin, but he was excited to be leaving to see his kids and Jess (his partner)," she says. "It just doesn't make any sense."

    Jason had lived with his sister, her husband Matt and their three children since April, while he worked at Darwin's Easy Glass Services.

    Staying in his usual work as a glazier was not his intention when he set off for the Territory, his mum Yvonne Richards says.

    He had set out to find more lucrative work in the mines, but, Yvonne says, when nothing came up he went back to glass work.

    "He wanted to make money for his family. He wanted to buy a house," she says.

    Cash flow appeared to be a problem for Jason before his trip home.

    Yvonne says he asked her for a $500 loan before setting off. She happily obliged.

    He was a good son, a dad who wanted to do the right thing, she says.

    Yvonne and Jason would speak regularly during his long drives between Victoria and the Top End, a trip he has made countless times.

    Exhausted from weeks of worry, Yvonne cannot conceal her anguish.

    "It's just not like him not to be in touch with his family," she says, crying. "Even if he has no credit on his phone, he always calls - always. What if he's gone down an opal mine?"

    Now, almost three weeks after he disappeared, police say his phone is switched off, his bank accounts remain untouched and a big search has found no sign of him.

    So how did it come to this?

    Everything seemed fine in the first 24 hours of Jason's drive through central Australia.

    He hit the open road, soaking up the blazing blue sky as he gunned past Alice Springs and on to opal country, Coober Pedy, where vivid red wildflower Sturt's desert pea is in bloom early this year.

    "He'd be calling Matt all the time," Danielle says. "There were no problems."

    She says his preferred route was "down the guts" and through Adelaide and when he stopped to rest, he would simply roll out his swag by the road.

    "Every time he came into service range we'd be texting or calling him," Danielle says.

    Jason was in touch with his partner Jess Laidlaw that Monday, too.

    The last time they spoke was about 10.30pm, when his GPS navigation system indicated he had just over 17 hours left on his trip.

    Add time for a few rest stops, and he should be home by Wednesday, June 22, he guessed.

    Soon after that call, he sent a text message to Danielle explaining he'd had a near miss with a road train, so he would be stopping in Coober Pedy for the night.

    He was rattled, but it was nothing serious.

    As far as his family knew, he was safe and on track.

    But that text message would be the last contact he had with any relative.

    And its timing suggests he made few rest stops on the Darwin-Coober Pedy leg of his journey.

    He covered the 2180km in 26 hours - extraordinarily good time given that he was towing a 4m boat.

    It appears Jason had very little rest in Coober Pedy. Call records show he made a phone call about 5.30am on the Tuesday somewhere near Woomera, about four hours south of the opal town.

    And the timing means Jason would have had just three or four hours of sleep overnight.

    That last phone call, to his brother-in-law Matt Wilkinson, went unanswered.

    Whether Jason made the call as another of his routine updates, or as a cry for help, is not clear.

    But what happened next leaves little doubt that something went horribly wrong early that Tuesday.

    Police believe Jason abandoned his boat that morning. It was found torched near Woomera on a stretch of dirt road that cannot be seen from the highway.

    Inside that boat were the remains of a crocodile - a rolled up skin and a skull - a set of pigs jaws and a fishing rod. Croc hunting is illegal, though police stress Jason is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

    Was he sensitive about his cargo? "No comment," says his brother Dave Richards.

    Either way, as dawn broke that Tuesday, panic overwhelmed Jason Richards. At 8am, he flagged down a truck heading north on Stuart Highway near Woomera and spoke to the driver, who told police Jason seemed incoherent and erratic.

    Two other motorists are believed to have spoken with Jason by the roadside soon after, about 8.45am.

    Jason's father Wayne, who runs the caravan park at Roxby Downs near Woomera, believes his son felt threatened.

    "All I know is he was very agitated and he was in fear that someone was following him," Wayne said. "He thought he was being followed."

    Why Jason believed this and who might have been following him is unknown.

    Weary from an almost unbroken 30-hour journey, had Jason imagined a menace? Had he fallen into some sort of psychosis as the desert closed in around him? Was he hypnotised by its endless horizon?

    The head of the SA Police's major crime division, Det Supt Grant Moyle confirms police are considering whether sleep deprivation played a role in the drama.

    "We have consulted police psychologists about different things and it's looking like he had some sort of episode," he says.

    Jason has no history of mental illness and police say drugs simply do not figure in the case.

    As for a stalker, Supt Moyle says there's no evidence Jason was threatened, though "quite possibly" he believed he had been.

    But none of that explains how a man, his ute and his dog vanish into thin air.

    How could he hide for so long? How could a big blue ute go unnoticed in a pancake-flat landscape of low-lying scrub?

    And why would he not contact his family? His son Jack's birthday passed more than a week ago.

    For now, police are working on the assumption he is either alive and surviving on his bush skills or that he has suffered an accident in some remote patch between Woomera and Port Augusta.

    Foul play, while not out of the question, is less likely.

    An experienced bushman, Jason had been carrying 60 litres of water and a rifle.

    He and brother Dave go pig hunting any time they get the chance. Nonetheless, Dave fears the worst. He says: "It's the longest I've ever been apart from him. Something's gone wrong. We've searched everywhere and there's nothing."

    He and a group of Jason's mates have driven tens of thousands of kilometres, distributing missing persons fliers. Today, police will search from the air.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hayalet's Avatar
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    Such a bizarre story.

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    Senior Member deeply shaded's Avatar
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    What's a roadtrain?

    Doesn't sound promising for this guy. He had his truck, so he wasn't flagging people down for a ride, right? Just randomly flagging people down?
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  6. #6
    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeply shaded View Post
    What's a roadtrain?

    Doesn't sound promising for this guy. He had his truck, so he wasn't flagging people down for a ride, right? Just randomly flagging people down?
    A super super long truck. With hundreds of trailers/carriages attached. I'm phone posting but if you google there are pics. I saw a roadtrain in outback Aus once and it took literally 5 minutes for all the carriages to go past.

    Yep he had/has his car. I don't think they've found it yet
    Last edited by Olivia; 07-12-2011 at 02:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member deeply shaded's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olivia View Post
    A super super long truck. With hundreds of trailers/carriages attached. I'm phone posting but if you google there are pics. I saw a roadtrain in outback Aus once and it took literally 5 minutes for all the carriages to go past.

    Yep he had/has his car. I don't think they've found it yet
    Oh wow. We don't have those here. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by beli View Post
    kim kardashian - made famous for having a sex tape, should die in a fire
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    Senior Member d0tti's Avatar
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    eh some reason i missed ALL of the previous posts and reposted an article. derp. Well here is a picture of a road train?

    Last edited by d0tti; 07-12-2011 at 07:54 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member deeply shaded's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d0tti View Post
    eh some reason i missed ALL of the previous posts and reposted an article. derp. Well here is a picture of a road train?



    These are amazing. How do they operate these things? Scary.
    Quote Originally Posted by beli View Post
    kim kardashian - made famous for having a sex tape, should die in a fire
    Quote Originally Posted by McMama View Post
    Have you ever walked into a mall, sat on God's lap, and had your picture taken?

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    Chin Checker g r ee n ey e s's Avatar
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    That would piss me off in traffic. Freight trains are bad enough when you have to get somewhere and there is miles of cargo flashing before your eyes.

    Make that into a 'truck' of some sort and I would go postal.


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    Senior Member poppy213's Avatar
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    I am glad they found his dog alive. Poor thing lost her puppies.

    What did he say to the people he flagged down? And when they say, "torched", they meant burned his boat?

    "Satisfaction of ones curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life" Linus Pauling

  12. #12
    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g r ee n ey e s View Post
    That would piss me off in traffic. Freight trains are bad enough when you have to get somewhere and there is miles of cargo flashing before your eyes.

    Make that into a 'truck' of some sort and I would go postal.
    Thank god they only have road trains in uninhabited areas in the desert. The route through Australia is pretty much literally one straight long road.



    I thought this was a crazy photo of roadtrains


  13. #13
    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppy213 View Post
    I am glad they found his dog alive. Poor thing lost her puppies.

    What did he say to the people he flagged down? And when they say, "torched", they meant burned his boat?
    I think they said he was incoherent. It's a shame no cops were driving by because I am guessing they would have been obligated to take him somewhere for evaluation

    And yes, torched means burnt. Here is his boat.


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    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    SOUTH Australian detectives have enlisted the help of an indigenous tracker in their search for missing Victorian man Jason Richards.

    Police last night revealed the tracker would search an area near Glendambo in central SA today. He spent several hours with police in the area yesterday as the air search continued.

    The dog belonging to Mr Richards, 29, was found in the area on Sunday. The last confirmed sighting of the missing man was on June 21 just south of Woomera, 120km south of Glendambo.

    Mr Richards is believed to have left Darwin on June 20 travelling through SA on his way home to Ballarat.

    He was driving a navy blue 1991 Toyota Hilux ute with a metal dog cage on the back, registered ODV 747. He was also towing an aluminium boat, since found abandoned and burnt.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/tra...-1226093360600

    There is loads of info here about Aboriginal/Indigenous trackers - http://australia.gov.au/about-austra...ginal-trackers

    It's pretty amazing.

    Aboriginal people have developed exceptional tracking skills based on their hunter and gather life which includes the ability to track down animals, to identify and locate edible plants, and to find sources of water.

    Indigenous Australian children learn to recognise the tracks of animals as soon as they are old enough to notice. Traditionally, as soon as children learn to walk, they learn to track their mother's and sibling's footprints as well as learning hand signs so people know when to be quiet or careful. To this end, people walking together in the bush do so in single file. The ground also makes a good drawing board and children learn the patterns and shapes which represent the tracks of common animals.
    An experienced tracker can read the ground like a storybook. If the tracks are those of a mammal, he can probably tell you, from the size and 'weight' or depth of the tracks, its gender and approximate age. If the animal is a female, he will know by the spacing of the hind legs whether or not it is 'parapu' (carrying young). He will usually be able to tell you the species of a lizard and not only which way a snake is travelling, and its size, but how fast it is moving and whether it is harmless or venomous.

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olivia View Post
    An experienced tracker can read the ground like a storybook. If the tracks are those of a mammal, he can probably tell you, from the size and 'weight' or depth of the tracks, its gender and approximate age. If the animal is a female, he will know by the spacing of the hind legs whether or not it is 'parapu' (carrying young). He will usually be able to tell you the species of a lizard and not only which way a snake is travelling, and its size, but how fast it is moving and whether it is harmless or venomous.
    Hmmm. I have an Indian friend who does this sort of thing. But he's full of sh*t. After all who's gonna argue with him?

    But I hope they have good luck with their search for Jason.
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    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
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    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    THE girlfriend of missing Victorian man Jason Richards suspects he has been killed, harmed or abducted.


    A decade after the Outback disappearance of British tourist Peter Falconio, Mr Richards' partner, Jess Laidlaw, said she feared the worst.

    "I just don't know what to think but I have a feeling there was some sort of foul play involved," she told the Herald Sun.

    "I hate to say it and I hate to think it, and I'm still not believing it - but it does run through my mind because he wouldn't do this. It's just not his style," she said.

    Ms Laidlaw is in central South Australia with friends and relatives, searching for Mr Richards, who disappeared three weeks ago.

    Police have already searched 4300 sq km to no avail. They even brought in an Aboriginal tracker.


    Police yesterday described the case as "strange".


    "It is odd Mr Richards' vehicle or himself have not been found," said Det Supt Grant Moyle of the SA major crime unit.

    "I would have expected that if he was all right, if he had left that area and was still travelling, then we would have had some reports of his interactions with members of the public."

    Police have consulted psychologists as they explore the theory that Mr Richards may have suffered a deranged episode linked to sleep deprivation.

    Mr Richards, 29, vanished late last month on his journey home to Ballarat from Darwin, where he had been working as a glazier.

    He was last seen on the Stuart Highway, south of Woomera.

    Peter Falconio vanished on the same highway, about 1200km north, in July 2001.

    Mr Richards' dog, Amy, was found alive on Sunday, about 100km from where he disappeared. Vets believe she gave birth a week ago to a litter of pups, which have not been found.

    Ms Laidlaw said Mr Richards had no enemies.

    The boat he was towing was found torched and abandoned the day he was last seen, June 21.

    His father, Wayne, lives near the scene of the last sighting.


    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/i-th...#ixzz1S2NX2U8N

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    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-1...ng-man/2794862

    Police have called off air and ground searches for missing Victorian man Jason Richards, who was last seen in South Australia's outback three weeks ago.

    Mr Richards was last seen near Woomera while travelling from Darwin to his home in Ballarat.

    A search of 4,300 square kilometres of land has yielded no signs of either Mr Richards or his car.

    Police deployed a low-flying aircraft over the Woomera Restricted Area after Mr Richards' dog was found alive in the region.

    An Aboriginal tracker was also called in and managed to follow the dog's journey for 12 kilometres.

    But no clues have since been found and a police spokesman says the search has been suspended as they assess what else can be done.

    Friends and family of Mr Richards have stayed in the region to continue their efforts to find him.

    His mother, Yvonne Richards, is at Pimba near Woomera and says rain has hampered the search.

    "I hope this weather clears up, then we can go out again. The boys have covered a lot of the tracks that go off the side of the road. They've covered a lot of area," she said.

    Police have received more than 100 phone calls relating to the case since Mr Richards' disappearance

  18. #18
    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    A search for a Victorian man missing for three weeks in the South Australian outback will resume on Friday.

    Police said on Thursday they would continue the aerial search for father of two Jason Richards, concentrating on an area north of Glendambo.

    The decision to continue the operation followed a detailed assessment by detectives of their efforts so far.

    Mr Richards was carrying enough fuel to travel about 4000 kilometres and was also carrying a quantity of food when he left Darwin last month to drive to Ballarat.

    He last contacted his partner on Monday, June 20, from Coober Pedy to say he would be arriving home the following day.

    Relatives on the Tuesday morning missed another call from him which came from the Woomera region.

    The last confirmed sighting also came on the morning of June 21 on the Stuart Highway, about 10 kilometres south of Pimba, in SA's north.

    The 28-year-old flashed his car lights at a truck driver to get him to stop and had a brief but incoherent conversation.

    An extensive ground and air search was launched soon after he went missing and has so far covered about 4500 square kilometres, mostly using a low-flying light plane.

    Police also brought in an Aboriginal tracker without success this week after Mr Richards's dog was found alive near Glendambo on Sunday.

    A vet treated wounds to the dog's legs and reported that there were signs it had a litter of pups about a week ago and had not eaten for about two weeks.

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/...ing-in-outback

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    Senior Member statro's Avatar
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    I don't know if this was posted, and just lost with the crash, but he was found dead. Foul play was not suspected. I did find another article that confirmed that after the autopsy, but it didn't have as much information as this one.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/sout...-1226104834861

    VICTORIAN man Jason Richards has been found dead more than a month after he went missing in the South Australian outback, after apparently becoming disorientated when he ran into car trouble.

    His body was found in scrub this afternoon about 1km from his car, which was discovered on Friday abandoned about 10km south of Glendambo, almost 600km northwest of Adelaide.

    South Australian police say the body is believed to be that of Mr Richards, although that will not be confirmed until a post-mortem examination has been carried out.
    "While investigations will be continuing, there appears to be no suspicious circumstances at this time," a police statement said.
    Detective Inspector Denise Gray said it appeared Mr Richards walked off after his car was damaged in the rough terrain.
    "It appears that the vehicle had been driven to that location over rough terrain and the vehicle sustained front-end damage and a shredded left front tyre and was most likely undriveable," Det Insp Gray told reporters in Adelaide, before police found the body.
    She said there were no signs of violence in the car.
    "It appears that he's become disorientated and the vehicle's not working, so he's decided to walk," she said.

    Mr Richards went missing while driving from Darwin to Ballarat.
    Earlier this month, police described the search as looking for a needle in a haystack after covering 4300sq km by air and land without any sign of the man or his car.
    His dog was found alive near Glendambo on July 10, but the search was called off on July 19.
    Mr Richards was carrying enough fuel to travel about 4000km and a quantity of food when he left Darwin to drive to Ballarat last month.
    The father of two last contacted his partner on Monday, June 20, from Coober Pedy to say he would arrive home the following day.

    Relatives missed another call from him on the Tuesday morning, which came from the Woomera region.
    The last confirmed sighting was on the morning of June 21 on the Stuart Highway, about 10km south of Pimba, in South Australia's north.
    The 28-year-old flashed his car lights at a truck driver to get him to stop and had a brief, but incoherent, conversation with him.

  20. #20
    Chin Checker g r ee n ey e s's Avatar
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    Poor guy..


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    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Update - turns out it was suicide

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/s...-1226653053693

    THE OUTBACK suicide of a man gripped by amphetamine psychosis could have been prevented if his bizarre behaviour had been quickly reported to police, a Coronial inquest has found.

    Deputy State Coroner Anthony Schapel today said the death of Jason Neil Richards also served as a warning of the tragic and unpredictable effects methamphetamine could have on users.

    Mr Richards, 28, had taken methamphetamines, No-Doz caffeine pills and consumed Mother energy drinks as he embarked on a drive from Darwin to his home in Ballarat on June 19, 2011.

    Along the way, Mr Richards had unhooked a stolen boat and trailer from his vehicle and set them on fire in the bush.

    The inquest heard Mr Richards drove 2100km in 25 hours before he arrived at Coober Pedy on the night of June 20, when he spoke to family members on the phone for the final time.

    The next morning, Mr Richards was seen on three occasions driving his 4WD in an erratic manner and also behaving in a paranoid and bizarre manner.

    One witness said Mr Richards appeared affected by drugs and made paranoid and agitated comments that his "mates should leave him alone''.

    The witness fled when he believed Mr Richards was trying to retrieve a gun from his vehicle.

    A third witness said Mr Richards had flagged down his truck before telling the driver ``he's in the back and he's trying to kill me'' - despite him being alone in the vehicle apart from his dog.

    Mr Schapel said it was unfortunate that none of these incidents were reported to police, and Mr Richards was not declared a missing person until June 23, by which time he had already committed suicide at remote Coondambo Station in the Far North.

    He said if police had been notified immediately of Mr Richards' behaviour, they could have tracked him down and detained him under the Mental Health Act for medical treatment.

    ``Sightings of persons acting dangerously or irrationally in the bush should be taken very seriously and be brought to the attention of the authorities, and in particular the police, without delay,'' Mr Schapel found.

    ``The well-being of the person concerned and the safety of members of the general public may well depend on it.''

    Mr Richards, who had no history of illicit drug use or mental illness, was found about 500m from the 4WD on July 30, 2011.

    Mr Schapel said the case should warn others of the unpredictable effects amphetamines can have on a user in a short space of time.

    ``These findings should serve as a warning to anyone contemplating using methamphetamine or amphetamine as a means of combating fatigue or remaining awake,'' Mr Schapel found.

    ``This case yet again underlines in a dramatic way the pitfalls associated with abuse of these substances.''

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    Senior Member kevansvault's Avatar
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    Ugh, how sad. Yeah, you have to be careful with caffeine and amphetamines. One makes me shake, the other calms me down. Poor guy.
    Don't like what I have to say? I respect that. Now go fuck yourself.

  23. #23
    Senior Member UncomfortablyNumb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevansvault View Post
    Ugh, how sad. Yeah, you have to be careful with caffeine and amphetamines. One makes me shake, the other calms me down. Poor guy.
    Or you could be like me and both of them would make you shake. If I took amphetamines and a shit ton of caffeine I would probably lose my shit too. Yikes. RIP Jason.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shins View Post
    Before you thrust into oncoming trains, always be sure to look both ways.

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    mother energy drinks?
    or monster. was that a typo? or are there Mother energy drinks in Australia?

  25. #25
    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoMyGoddess! View Post
    mother energy drinks?
    or monster. was that a typo? or are there Mother energy drinks in Australia?
    We have both mother and monster here. I think it’s called that because sometimes mother is used to describe something huge, enormous, overwhelming etc. ‘It was a mother of a job’.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_(energy_drink)

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