Fears are growing for a grandmother who has been missing for more than two weeks after a handwritten note reading ‘help me please’ was found near her abandoned crashed car in regional Victoria.
Colleen South, 58, from Adelaide, was last seen by loved ones at Renown Park, in the city’s inner north, on Friday 1 July around 3.30pm when she drove off in a 2006 silver Hyundai Getz hatchback.
Her car and belongings were discovered abandoned in northern Victoria days later, prompting concerned family to believe foul play is involved in her disappearance.
CCTV footage captured Ms South visiting a Liquorland at St Agnes at about 11.50am on July 2, with police believing she then made her way to rural northern Victoria.
Colleen South, 58, (pictured with her daughter) has been missing for more than two weeks
The last reported sighting of Ms South was made about 3pm on July 3, when a witness spotted her behind the wheel of her Hyundai Getz in Ninyeunook, 267 north of Melbourne.
Around an hour later, a farmer noticed Ms South’s car abandoned parked under a tree off the side of Mackies Road, 26km away in Bunguluke.
Two days later, the farmer called police after realising the car had crashed into a ditch and sustained damage, with airbags deployed.
Ms South’s belongings were found about 20 metres from the car, including her handbag, purse, keys and a journal in which she had written ‘help me please’.
Police believe Colleen travelled on her own to rural Victoria and, at this time, that no one is involved in her disappearance.
But her relatives disagree – and are calling on authorities to treat the case as suspicious.
Ms South was last seen by a witness in her Hyundai Getz (pictured) on July 3. The car was found abandoned an hour later
A concerning note asking for help was found inside Ms South’s journal near her abandoned car
Ms South’s personal items, including bags and keys, were found dumped 20 metres from her car
‘As a family, we believe foul play is involved,’ niece Farah Mak told the Herald Sun.
‘We need this to be escalated and for police to treat it as suspicious. This is out of character for Colleen.’
Ms Mak, an Australian actress known for her work on hit TV series Neighbours and Love Child, slammed investigators for not treating the case as a serious crime.
‘What we’re trying to get is action and outcome. It has been a shemozzle. The attention to detail has not been great, things have been missed.’
Veronica South, 21, and her friends have launched their own search of the Wycheproof area in a bid to find her mother.
Actress Farah Mak (pictured) said her aunt’s disappearance is very unusual and believes foul play was involved
On Saturday, the group found Ms South’s essential medication, downtrodden grass, a pen, footprints and a recently lit campfire.
The case is now being handled by Victorian authorities, after it was handed over by South Australia Police on Friday.
‘The search for Colleen was officially handed over to Victoria Police on 15 July and is ongoing,’ a Victorian Police spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Victoria Police has been working closely with South Australia police in the search for missing woman Colleen South, since her vehicle was located abandoned.’
Ms South is described as 154cm tall with a heavy build, green eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, black and white striped shirt.
Anyone who sees Colleen or has any information is urged to contact police.
Medication found by Veronica South and her friends in the area where her mother disappeared
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