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Hope fading

Saturday, 9th July, 2016

Christine Young has been missing for two-and-a-half months.  PICTURE: Supplied Christine Young has been missing for two-and-a-half months. PICTURE: Supplied

By Darrin Manuel

Hopes of finding missing woman Christine Young alive appear to be fading fast, with police now preparing a report for the coroner.

Ms Young escaped from the hospital’s Mental Health Inpatient Unit on April 22 and has not been heard from since.

The 40-year-old grandmother has a history of mental illness and has gone missing in the bush before.

Her latest disappearance sparked a two-week land and air search on the city’s northern outskirts after footprints and clothing believed to belong to Ms Young were found near Brown Street.

The search proved fruitless however, and police and community appeals for information also proved unsuccessful.

A case can be submitted to the coroner once police feel they can make no further enquiries to determine if a missing person is dead or alive.

Given Ms Young has now been missing for two-and-a-half months, police said a report was now being prepared for the coroner, although it was unknown when the report will be completed and submitted.

The submission of a report to coroner often results in the closure of a missing persons investigation unless new evidence becomes available, however Barrier LAC crime inspector Mick Stoltenberg said there would be consultation with the coroner before any such decision was made.

“Everyone would love Christine to turn up safe and well one day, and obviously that was and always will remain the goal of the police in matters such as this,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Far West Local Health District has completed an urgent clinical review of Ms Young’s exit from the Mental Health Inpatient Unit.

Ms Young was an involuntary patient of the hospital, but managed to make her escape by pushing through the door to the unit as another patient was leaving.

“Staff tried to apprehend the patient, but they were unable to do so and the patient fled the hospital,” said a FWLHD spokesperson.

The hospital said procedures regarding patients in the mental health unit would be revised in line with the review’s findings.

“Far West LHD has moved to implement the recommendations from the clinical review,” said the spokesperson.

“A number of its findings are already improving the care and security of involuntary patients.”

Ms Young’s mother is believed to be travelling to the city this weekend to raise awareness about her daughter’s disappearance and appeal for any information that may help trace her whereabouts.

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