Cairns couple missing without a trace
A CAIRNS father held back tears yesterday as he confronted the possibility his missing son and daughter-in-law could have met with foul play.
Scott Maitland, 35, and wife Cindy Masonwells, 33, were last seen on July 5 when they picked up their green panel van from a workshop at Bungalow, Cairns.
The couple, who have a house at Gordonvale, recently moved to Mt Isa to work in the mines and were back in Cairns for a friend’s engagement party and to pick up their car, which had been repaired after it was stolen.
Scott’s father, Wayne Maitland, made an emotional plea yesterday to help find the couple.
"The concern we’ve got is how can two people just disappear," Mr Maitland said.
"He knew the town, he knew most of the people in the town so there’s got to be someone who knows or (has) seen him."
Mr Maitland described his son as a hard worker and family man, whose teenage daughter lives with his ex-partner in Victoria.
Cairns CIB Det Sen-Sgt Ed Kinbacher said a major incident room had been established with investigators from Brisbane arriving in Cairns today.
"There appears to be two main possibilities – there is a third party involvement that has caused this event or alternatively, there has been an accident in the vehicle and they haven’t been located yet," he said.
"Their accounts, their phones and any other normal types of interactions with the community have stopped since they arrived in Cairns."
Sen-Sgt Kinbacher said police were not ruling out a link between the theft of the panel van in mid-April from a Portsmith workshop and the couple’s disappearance.
He said Scott Maitland had followed up his own inquiries which led to the recovery of the vehicle.
"There are a range of suspicious circumstances and it is highly concerning."
A friend of the pair, Jodi Noden, said the disappearance was out of character.
"They are the kind of people who are good at contacting people," Ms Noden said.
"Scott’s daughter hasn’t spoken to her father for over a week."
Mr Maitland’s ex-partner, Donna Astill, has set up a Facebook page to appeal for information.
Yesterday she wrote: "My daughter is very upset as you can imagine ... we are staying positive and keeping our fingers crossed."
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Call for help: Cairns man Wayne Maitland appeals for help to find his son, Scott Maitland, and daughter-in-law Cindy Masonwells.