Search for Gordon Copeland relaunched months after his disappearance

A new three-day search for missing Aboriginal man Gordon Copeland will begin on Wednesday, four months after he was last seen by police entering a river outside the northern NSW town of Moree.

Mr Copeland, a 22-year-old Gomeroi man, was last seen by police near the Gwydir River at Yarraman in the early hours of July 10.

Right: Gordon Copeland. Left: Bianca Copeland (Gordon’s Sister) and Narelle Copeland (Gordon’s Mother). Credit:Tahlor Swan

Officers said they saw Mr Copeland near a bogged car near the Yarraman Bridge on the Carnarvon Highway, and allege he ran away from them before entering the river.

“On Wednesday 6 October, police will commence a further three-day search with the assistance of Marine Area Command, Police Rescue, Western Region Operation Support Group (OSG), the Dog and Mounted Unit, general duties officers, both small boat and drone-trained officers, and the SES,” a police spokeswoman said in a statement.

The SES resources include 13 members of its Bush Search and Rescue Team and volunteers from its Orange and Corindi units.

“Officers from New England Police District are also continuing to engage closely with Gordon’s family to ensure they are kept appraised of all developments and are supported during this time,” the NSW police spokeswoman said.

Crowds march through Moree in July to protest against the police response to Copeland’s disappearance.

Crowds march through Moree in July to protest against the police response to Copeland’s disappearance.Credit:Tahlor Swan

Mr Copeland’s family, including his three-year-old son and heavily pregnant partner, were distraught over his disappearance and have criticised NSW Police over their search efforts.

Local officers initially searched the river alongside specialist teams but the search was downgraded five days later.


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