Wattle Ridge, Bargo: Desperate hunt for bushwalker Darren Banks who mysteriously vanished two weeks ago – after cops find his abandoned car


Police hold serious concerns for a bushwalker who has been missing in south-west Sydney for almost two weeks.

Darren Banks, 57, was last seen at a home in Macquarie Fields, in south-west Sydney, about 4pm on Friday, March 15.

He was in good health and well prepared for the hike, say police, and was expected to return home the following day with plans to spend that weekend with family.

He was reported missing the following Tuesday but loved ones and police have been unable to contact him for 13 days.

Police confirmed he made it to the hiking trail after finding his car parked 80km away, near Starlights Trail in Wattle Ridge, south of Sydney, 15km west of Bargo, last Thursday.

Darren Banks, 57, was last seen at a home in Macquarie Fields, in south-west Sydney, about 4pm on Friday, March 15

Darren Banks, 57, was last seen at a home in Macquarie Fields, in south-west Sydney, about 4pm on Friday, March 15 

Darren Banks was in good health and well prepared for the hike and was expected to return home the following day with plans to spend that weekend with family

Darren Banks was in good health and well prepared for the hike and was expected to return home the following day with plans to spend that weekend with family

It is understood Mr Banks is familiar with the walking trail but it is considered difficult terrain.

‘Now it is it is quite remote spot deep in the bush. There’s not a lot of people out there,’ Detective Inspector Andrew Mackay said.

However, there is significant access to fresh water and family said he was in ‘very good health’ before leaving home two weeks ago.

SES crews have assisted with the land search over the last week, though no trace has been found to date.

Detectives have been able to track his movements before leaving Macquarie Fields on the Friday, and say he visited the shopping centre earlier that day.

‘He did some shopping but there’s no purchases that can assist (our investigation) any further,’ Detective Mackay said.

Police confirmed he made it to the hiking trail after finding his car parked near the Starlights Trail in Wattle Ridge, 15km west of Bargo, last Thursday

Police confirmed he made it to the hiking trail after finding his car parked near the Starlights Trail in Wattle Ridge, 15km west of Bargo, last Thursday

It is understood Mr Banks is familiar with the walking trail but it is considered difficult terrain

It is understood Mr Banks is familiar with the walking trail but it is considered difficult terrain

Police believe he may have been bushwalking towards Ahearn Lookout or Emmets Flat campground area, about an hour south of Campbelltown.

Police hold serious concerns for Darren’s welfare as it’s considered out of character for him to not be in contact with his family.

Darren is described as being of Caucasian appearance, of medium build, about 180cm tall, with short brown hair and a beard with brown eyes.

Anyone who has been in the Starlight Trail area who saw Darren, his vehicle or has information in relation to Darren’s whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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