When Mark Tromp and his family went missing for five days, that had triggered alarm bells sending the Victoria and New South Wales police searching for them.
Not only the police were involved, their family, friends and community also went on a searching mission to determine what had happened to the family who fled their home but leaving behind bank cards and mobile phones.
Now, the search has ended and Mark Tromp was found running along a street in Wangaratta in “good health”.
According to Mr Tromp’s son Mitchell, his parents were scared and thought they were being followed when they left their farm at Silvan, east of Melbourne, over a week ago.
On Sunday, Mitchell Tromp and his sister Ella said the road trip and subsequent separation of the family members was “a family matter”, reports ABC.
In a statement released by a relative, Mark Tromp said his family had been through “a difficult period”.
“We will soon be reunited and together,” he said.
“I hope that we will begin to make sense of our ordeal and return to a normal life,” he said.
Mr Tromp expressed his gratitude to Victoria and New South Wales police for their help.
“Without reservation, I apologise for the hurt and concern caused by these events,” he said.
He also thanked health care professionals who had looked after the family’s “physical and mental wellbeing”. Mark Tromp, the man at the centre of a bizarre interstate family trip last week, has apologised for the “hurt and concern” caused by the saga.
Mother Jacoba Tromp and another daughter Rhiana remain in hospital where they are being treated by mental health professionals.
The youngest daughter, Ella Tromp, has been charged with stealing a car it was alleged that she used to drive from New South Wales back home after she left her parents near Goulburn.
“More than anything, my family and I need time to recover and receive appropriate assistance, including mental health services,” Mark Tromp said.
Timeline of the family road trip according to ABC News
Monday, August 29
The family of five leave their Silvan redcurrant farm in a grey Peugeot station wagon with a large amount of cash, but bank cards and mobile phones are left behind
Heading towards New South Wales, son Mitchell Tromp has his phone thrown out of the car window at Warburton, east of Melbourne
Tuesday, August 30
Mitchell leaves the family trip at Bathurst
The rest of the family travel to Jenolan Caves in the NSW central tablelands before the two daughters leave their parents at Goulburn
Daughter Rhiana is hospitalised with stress-related health issues at Goulburn
Police visit the Tromp family home after Mark and Jacoba are reported missing and find the house unlocked and paperwork everywhere
Wednesday, August 31
The family’s car is found in Wangaratta in Victoria’s north-east after police receive a report that it was seen following another car
Police pull the car over and a man, believed to be Mark Tromp, runs away into a nearby park
The area is searched with sniffer dogs, but he is not found
Mitchell and Ella Tromp make their way back to Victoria and arrive to find police at their farm
Thursday, September 1
Jacoba Tromp is found and taken by a member of the public to Yass hospital where she is assessed for stress-related health concerns
Mitchell and Ella appeal to the public for help to find their father
Mitchell says his parents had mounting business pressures and were scared and paranoid when he left them on the trip
Friday, September 2
Jacoba Tromp is transferred to Goulburn hospital to be treated alongside Rhiana
Saturday, September 3
Mark Tromp is found on a street near the Wangaratta airport in “good health”