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MISSING PERSONS WEEK 2019: Lawrence Anderson's family still without answers 35 years after he disappeared from Aberdare

Missing: Lawrence Anderson was last seen at Aberdare in 1984.
Missing: Lawrence Anderson was last seen at Aberdare in 1984.

Lawrence Anderson was only a few years retired when he vanished.

The 66-year-old enjoyed a long career as head boiler attendant at the Australian Paper Mill in Sydney - a supervisor's position that came after a private school education.

He was a skilled artist, a prolific letter writer, had a love of cooking, would often "dress up to the nines", was well-read and articulate. He lost his hearing in a bout with the measles as a child, but could lip-read.

On July 12, 1984, after an argument with his elderly mother, Mr Anderson left the Aberdare home they shared and was never seen again.

He had no children of his own but forged a strong bond with his only nieces - his sister's daughters Glenda, now 69, and Joan, now 78.

Mr Anderson is one of more than a dozen people listed as currently missing from the Hunter Region.

To mark National Missing Persons Week, Glenda Brown spoke with the Newcastle Herald to share an insight into the family's pain and continued hope for answers over the past 35 years.

"As days go by, you know it's not right. You know what they're like. You know something's gone wrong," she said.

"Every anniversary or birthday you're thinking: 'I wonder where he is'.

"It's like a void that never gets filled."

Mr Anderson's younger brother and sister died before he went missing and his mother passed away a couple of years after the disappearance "broke her heart".

Ms Brown said any suggestion her uncle may have returned to Sydney was quashed when bank records showed no activity and a close friend turned up in the Hunter to see him, unaware Mr Anderson was gone.

A coroner declared Mr Anderson deceased more than 20 years after he disappeared but Ms Brown said she and her sister still wanted to know what happened to their beloved uncle.

Aside from police they have sought information wherever they could - including a clairvoyant.

They have come to believe Mr Anderson, who would now be 101 years old, was killed in a bungled robbery at Bellbird.

"He would have never let [an important] date go past where he wouldn't have sent Nanna something," Ms Brown said.

"I know someone has murdered him and I don't really care if we never catch the person, but you want to know where they are so you can bring their body home.

"Someone out there knows, that's the thing."

Mr Anderson's two nieces received his shares in the Australian Paper Mill after the coronial findings. They haven't been able to part with them.

"One day he might have come back and we'd have kept them," Ms Brown said.

"I suppose you don't want to let go."

Anyone with information they think could help police in the search for a missing person can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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This story Missing Persons Week: 'It's like a void that never gets filled' first appeared on Newcastle Herald.