Police have made a startling breakthrough in the search to find a young father missing from Sydney‘s west for 70 years.
Donald Gordon Buckley, a 24-year-old labourer and father of three, was last seen at Warwick Farm in 1953.
Despite extensive investigations, the case went cold until Mr Buckley’s granddaughter Donna Truscott again reported him missing in early 2023.
Following an appeal, police were contacted by a member of the public and it’s since been revealed that Mr Buckley had changed his identity six times.
Police believe Mr Buckley died of natural causes in Moree in 1980 when he would have been aged 51.
Despite an extensive investigation by police in the 1950s, officers had been unable to track down Mr Buckley.
Following his disappearance, Mr Buckley exchanged minor correspondence with his family before suddenly ceasing contact in 1954.
At the time, he had two young boys, aged two and four, and a baby but was reportedly experiencing marital troubles.
He continued to make child support payments following his disappearance in 1953, but those also ceased in 1954.
Ms Truscott said it was her father Donald Buckley Jr’s dying wish in 2016 to locate Mr Buckley who had he had last seen at age four.
‘Being an alcoholic, having problems, and having so many children at such a young age. I think he just didn’t want to be himself,’ Ms Truscott told the ABC.
Police said Mr Buckley Sr assumed a new identity before dying of natural causes in the NSW town of Moree in 1980.
‘There were six names listed on his death certificate. He didn’t just change his name once he used six different aliases,’ Ms Truscott said,
‘There were also three amendments to his age on the certificate.’
Ms Truscott has called on the NSW coroner to confirm the man buried in Moree cemetery is her grandfather.