Search for missing Melbourne grandfather enters sixth day

May 18, 2022
Concerns grow for the missing man given the harsh conditions posed Victoria's high country, including its rugged and remote landscape and the impending winter weather. Source: Costa Pittas/Facebook

A Melbourne man who went missing in Victoria’s high country last week has still not been found, with the desperate search now entering the sixth day.

The man, revealed to be 70-year-old Christos Pittas, was last seen just before 3pm on Friday, May 13, on Big Muster Drive in Dinner Plain, Victoria, wearing a long sleeve shirt, long sleeve jumper, pants and crocs.

Police have joined members from the mounted branch, search and rescue, airwing and local members, as well as AV, Parks Victoria SES and local volunteers in the search for the missing man. It is believed he went for a walk to see emus reported to be in the area.

Concerns are held for the missing 70 year old as temperatures have begun to plummet in the area.

Acting Sergeant Joel Magno-Thornton told reporters on Tuesday, May 18 that the “terrain out there is wet and damp and it’s cold”.

“If he’s dropped down into a gully or into a creek line or something similar, he’s got access to water,” he said.

“If he’s found something to hide under and get out of the wind, there is a very high chance he’s still alive.”

Christos’s children, son Costa Pittas and daughter, Ella Bird, recently took to social media to share the news of their father’s disappearance, asking the public for help in assisting with their desperate search.

“My dear father Christos has been missing since Friday and was last seen when he left for an afternoon stroll in the Dinner Plane (Mount Hotham) area,” the statement read.

“We assume he got lost and perhaps injured himself off of one of the many hiking trails. Tonight will be his fourth night out poorly dressed in the wild terrain. Time is against us with the snow coming in on Monday.

“If you know any experienced people who can assist with the search please get in touch. My family would be so grateful to hear from you.”

Inspector Paul Hargreaves told 7 News on Sunday, May 15 that “we hope for the best and we plan for the worst”.

“We are thinking maybe he’s come across some misadventure or something has happened to him,” Hargreaves said.

“The conditions out here are not favourable to be out in the elements, but he may have just become disoriented and ended up at an accommodation venue where there is no one there at the moment.”

The search for Christos remains ongoing. Anyone with information on the missing man’s whereabouts is urged to contact triple-0 or local police on (03) 5723 0888.

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