Detectives from the Missing Person Squad will lead a search of the Labertouche area today as part of their investigation into the suspicious disappearance of Lakes Entrance man Dalibor “Dale” Pantic.
The 38-year-old was last seen by his friend at a farm in Perry Bridge on the night of Wednesday 10 April, 2019 and investigators have been unable to establish his whereabouts or any proof of life after that time.
Police will search an area of bushland off Forest Road in Labertouche in the hope of finding Dale’s vehicle or his remains.
A range of police units will be involved in the search, including the Remote Piloted Aircraft and Systems Unit (drones) along with local police.
Investigators are also releasing new CCTV which depicts Dale’s vehicle leaving a Sale address at 10.58pm on Friday 12 April, two days after he was last seen in Perry Bridge
The car was headed in the Labertouche direction.
Police have now established that Dale was not the driver of the vehicle and detectives are still seeking information regarding it’s whereabouts.
The vehicle, a 2005 silver Ford Falcon sedan with registration 1NK 8BP, is still yet to be recovered over a year after Dale went missing.
There were a number of sightings of the car across Melbourne in the days following his disappearance.
The first sighting was at a service station inbound on the Princes Freeway at Officer at 12.28am on 12 April.
It was seen again outbound on Eastlink at the Springvale Road/Ringwood Bypass at 11.59am and at the High Street Road/Fertnree Fully Road exit at 12.07pm.
Police are again releasing images of Dale’s vehicle, which has distinctive non-standard rims.
He was reported missing on 13 April last year and has not made contact with his family, including his children, since.
There has not been any activity on any of Dale’s social media accounts and his bank accounts have not been touched.
Since that time, police have made a number of public appeals for information in relation to Dale’s disappearance.
Officer in charge of the Missing Persons Squad, Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper, said police have always been of the firm belief that someone out there knows what happened to Dale and who is responsible.
“Dale’s disappearance has been described as being extremely out of character,” he said.
“We’re hoping that today’s search in Labertouche will give us some of the answers we need or a way to move forward with this investigation.
“A year is a long time for his family to spend without answers.
“However the opportunity is still open for someone to come forward and speak to police and give us any information they have about why he disappeared and who is involved.
“Someone out there has the answers we need – I can promise that police are absolutely going to keep searching for them ourselves, but if you do know something, then the time to come forward is now.”
Dale is described as approximately 178cm tall, solid build, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Investigators are also today re-releasing images of Dale, as well as photographs of his vehicle including the distinctive rims.
Anyone who saw Dale around the time of his disappearance or who may have seen his Ford sedan or anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppers.com.au