Anxious family looking for Dan
DANIEL O'Keeffe has not been seen or heard from by his family since he left home with just the clothes on his back six months ago.
His family's plea for help has made headlines across Australia and yesterday they extended that quest to the Sunshine Coast.
Twenty-four-year-old Dan, a successful young sportsman and business owner from Geelong in Victoria, was last seen in Brisbane late last year.
His sister, Loren O'Keeffe, has been living in Brisbane for a month and, with the aid of Queensland Police, has asked for help from across the state.
She said there could be a chance Dan was on the Sunshine Coast or nearby.
Ms O'Keeffe has asked people to look for her brother and anyone who thinks they see him should ask "are you Dan?"
"The (last) sighting was nine weeks ago and that means within four months he'd made his way from Geelong up into Queensland," Ms O'Keeffe said.
"It's very possible that in the nine weeks since that sighting he has moved on from the greater Brisbane area and could very well be near the Sunshine Coast.
"We're trying to encourage as many people as possible to keep their eyes open."
She said there were different theories about why Dan had left.
The most likely is that he was struggling with a diagnosed depression and wanted to escape his home town because he believed he was burdening his family and friends. He took no identification, clothes or money.
Ms O'Keeffe, 27, took annual leave when Dan disappeared and eventually quit her job when it was realised her brother was not coming home.
The family is not demanding Dan returns home and has raised a $50,000 reward to help find out that he is safe and well.
Anyone with information should call 0478 661 092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms O'Keeffe said there had been some reported sightings of Dan since Queensland Police released a state-wide missing person alert.
"It's exciting but you can't get too ahead of yourself," she said.
"More often than not they don't lead to anything concrete.
The family is supported by friends and students of Dan, who was adored and admired by those who knew him, Ms O'Keeffe said.
"Every single day in the six months since Dan went missing there have been a brand new cycle of different thoughts," she said.
"In the first couple of days I was set on the fact he was just having a break, that he would come back in a couple of days or a week when he had just had a bit of a breather.
"Then a few days turned into a few weeks and now a few months.
"It's much bigger than I'd ever imagined."
Ms O'Keeffe said dates that were normally important family occasions were difficult, most recently including Christmas.
"I kind of just wanted it (Christmas) to pass and be over with and I guess that's going to be hte case with any future milestones," she said.
"Every day is a new day and with each day we're one day closer to the day we're going to find him.
"Regardless of the emphasis society puts on Christmas, it's just another day and we're getting there one step at a time."