On August 30, 2016, the Tromp family – Mark, 51, his wife Jacoba, 53, and their three adult children, Riana, 29, Mitchell, 25, and Ella, 22 – abandoned their berry farm at Silvan, Australia. Reports state that they drove hundreds of kilometers away, leaving all of their personal belongings behind. Although all of them were found in the next several days in various locations, their disappearance sparked one of the most bizarre missing person cases in recent Australian history.
|Photo Credit: News.com.au|
Ranker, a digital media company that features polls on entertainment, brands, sports, and culture, reported that the police discovered that the doors of the family’s house were unlocked. Personal possessions were left conspicuously out in the open such as credit cards, passports, and cell phones – objects most people would take with them on a road trip. This suggested that the family didn't want to be followed. Aside from that, piles and piles of financial and business documents were found inside the house. They were neat and ordered, suggesting they had been searching for something.
|Photo Credit: The Scone Advocate|
Mitchell brought his phone during the trip because he realized something was off about his parents. However, the couple made him throw it out the car window. Later on, Mitchell left his family and went home. Riana and Ella left their parents while at the Jenolan Caves. When they arrived home, they immediately reported that Mark and Jacoba were missing. The parents didn't stick together for long as well. Jacoba decided to return while Mark continued on his journey. Eventually, he was found after breaking into a hotel room.
|Photo Credit: Herald Sun|
They seemed to be exhibiting unsettling behavior. Some of them were in a catatonic state. According to MamaMia, Australia's largest independent women's media group, Riana admitted in a 2017 interview that their disappearance was prompted by her father. Mark believed that someone was after him so he decided to run away along with his family.