The family of Ian Collett have released a heartfelt message after the body of the 65-year-old dementia sufferer was discovered near Albany Highway in Ashendon.
Armadale district superintendent Brad Sorrell announced a road worker had found the body near the intersection of Hakea Road and Albany Highway in Ashendon at approximately 9.46am Thursday morning.
Supt Sorrell said the area had previously been searched, but the body was found in a hard-to-reach area blocked off from view.
“The West Australian Police searched a very large area, there was over 186km worth of road searched and more than 10,000ha of land.
“Sadly, we didn’t get the outcome we wanted by finding Mr Collett alive,” he said.
The area had previously been searched, but the body was found in a hard-to-reach area blocked off from view.
“The West Australian Police searched a very large area, there was over 186km worth of road searched and more than 10,000ha of land,” he said.
“At this stage we are satisfied we followed all of the laws and regulations in terms of searches.
“We are confident the search was as extensive as possible.”
Mr Collett’s family released a message through WA Police, thanking everyone involved for their help and support and expressing relief that they would at least be able to say goodbye.
“We would like to sincerely thank everyone involved in the search to find Ian,” the statement said.
“The search was extensive and the police, State Emergency Services, friends and community exceeded our expectations.
“The response has been overwhelming and we will always be eternally grateful.
“Our mission was to find Ian, regardless of the outcome.
“Whilst we hoped for the best, we were prepared for the worst, and now that he’s home we can lay him to rest.
“Our hearts are heavy and we are all grieving in our own way and trying to remain strong for each other.
“We are certain that if Ian was here today and had clarity of mind, he would have been greatly touched and overwhelmed by the extensive effort that was carried out.”
Supt Sorrell said counselling would also be extended to those workers and that the discovery is a tragic reminder of the issues facing the family of dementia sufferers.
“The tragic situation this morning reminds everybody of the circumstances the families of dementia sufferers have to face,” he said.
“In that, there’s lots of things those families can do in terms of considering trackers and such.
“But in this particular occasion, the family have done everything they could.
“They’re a very caring family and from the WA Police, our heart goes out to them at this time.
“We’re there for them. “
The family of Mr Collett has set up a fund for Alzheimer’s WA, so they can prevent the same from happening to others.
You can donate to it at everydayhero.com.au/event/ian-collett