News National Nightmare for family of missing Victorian mum

Nightmare for family of missing Victorian mum

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Human remains found at a rural Victorian property are believed to belong to a woman who vanished more than two years ago.

Patricia Ann Gay was last seen by her daughter and family on the night of March 11, 2012, at her Malmsbury home.

Human remains uncovered in Malmsbury are believed on initial examination to belong to Ms Gay, and the police search is continuing for further evidence.

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Daughter Brooke James says Ms Gay’s family lives a waking nightmare, not knowing what happened to their beloved mum.

“You see her face every time you close your eyes, try and go to sleep,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

“You wonder what’s happened, did she suffer, what was running through her head when it was happening.”

The family say they have no idea what could have happened to the “funny, caring and beautiful-natured” Ms Gay, who would have done anything for anybody and had no enemies.

The 55-year-old was stricken with asthma at the time of her disappearance, so was unable to walk far. Her Ventolin puffer and personal belongings were left behind.

Son Brett Churchill said the family had held a glimmer of hope Ms Gay would be found alive.

“But knowing her, we knew she wouldn’t have left us for this long without … any trace,” he said.

“As far as I know she just disappeared. The door was open, she was gone, all her phone, her purse, her medication and everything was left behind.

“A book was left open, she was reading … just gone, disappeared.”

Homicide investigators were joined by local police, the search and rescue squad, major crime scene police and the local SES during Tuesday’s search.

A $100,000 reward for information leading to a conviction of anyone involved in the suspected murder was posted in 2013 and remains on offer.

Ms Gay had been living in Malmsbury for only a matter of weeks when she disappeared. Her family say she moved to the area for a change of pace.

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