Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Australian police hunt for missing Armagh man

Police in Australia are searching for a Northern Ireland man who went missing just over a week ago following a night out with his friends.

Stephen King from Keady, Co Armagh, has not been seen since leaving a group of friends at an Irish pub in the area of Southbank in Melbourne on Saturday, July 19.

The 28-year-old arrived in the city three weeks ago for a one-year working holiday and was staying with friends in St Kilda.

It is understood the tiler and bricklayer had left the pub to visit the Crown Casino when he disappeared.

It was only when he failed to turn up to watch a GAA match that was being televised at a local pub the next day that his friends raised the alarm.

A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said the 28-year-old was last seen by his friends walking along the promeande next to the Yarra River after leaving the pub at around 3.15am.

“Mr King has not been seen since and has not made contact with friends or family,” she said.

It is understood Mr King last spoke to his family on Friday, July 18 before heading out that night.

The Keady man’s distressed best friend Joe McQuade told The Age newspaper in Melbourne that he was “climbing the walls” with worry and had plastered posters around St Kilda and the city appealing for help.

He explained Mr King, who was staying with him at his St Kilda apartment, left his flat at about midnight on Friday, July 18 and caught a taxi to PJ O’Brien’s, where he drank for about three hours with a group of about seven fellow Irishmen.

He then met up with another friend outside the pub just after 3am, exchanged numbers then headed off to the casino.

According to Mr McQuade, the 28-year-old was in a good mood on the night, was not heavily intoxicated and was carrying about $150 (£73).

He also had not opened an Australian back account and all his possessions, including his passport, were still at his home.

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