Isabella and Bronte were walking through the gates to school on an ordinary Friday morning. Their bags hoisted onto their backs, their bright yellow and red uniforms freshly washed. Their brown hair, with just a hint of red, was shining in the sun as they turned to wave goodbye to their dad, Michael.
Before they disappeared into the throng of buzzing children, Michael caught one last glimpse of them as they ran to greet friends, smiles and laughter ringing.
He didn't know it then, but it was the last time he would ever see them. That last glimpse, an ordinary one – one you wouldn't dwell on in the constant routine of school drop offs and waves goodbye, one you'd think you'd see for years without ever considering that it would be your last – has defined Michael's life since.
The two little girls, 7-year-old twins born in January, have never been seen again.
Their mother, devastated by the loss of a custody battle, is the police's first and most primary suspect, as she too is missing.
In his desperate campaign to find his girls, Michael revealed that he firmly believed that his daughters were abducted by their mother, Catherine Lee, and she most likely took them from the playground minutes after he turned and got back into his car.
It has been 14 months since Michael's last glimpse of Isabella and Bronte, and there has been neither sight nor sound of either one of the little girls – a devastating reality for any parent.
Sadly, Isabella and Bronte are only another two names on a very long list of missing person cases that have been investigated, put aside and lost in a sea of files and cases.
But for the parents, spouses, children and siblings of these missing persons, they will never be able to put it aside, never be able to forget and move on, forever caught in a cycle of memories and regret – something that will come to shape their lives.
Some of these cases happened decades ago and some mere months old, but all are still open, with the possibly – however small – of being solved.
Have you seen any of these people? If you have any information, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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