We just want to bury our boy

Source: Western Advocate

For almost four years they’ve waited for answers, but now all Bruce Herbert and Suzanne Wallace want is their son’s body back so he can finally be laid to rest.

Bruce and Suzanne, the parents of missing Bathurst man Andrew Russell, said the last month, during which two men were charged with Andrew’s murder, has been the most traumatic since his disappearance.

Tony Simmons, 26, and Kieran Moore, 25, both remain in custody to reappear before City Central Court on March 14.

Bruce said the impact of the last month had been terrible.

“I guess I always held out hope deep down that he might come back,” he said.

Suzanne said even though it’s been four years since Andrew was allegedly murdered, they still have all of his things at home.

“Bruce has still got Andrew’s shoes hanging up in the laundry,” she said.

“And I’ve got all his clothes. I haven’t got the heart to get rid of them,” Bruce said.

“I don’t know what to do with them ... I guess I could give them to the Salvos but I don’t know how I’d cope if I saw someone down the street wearing his clothes.”

Adding to the family’s grief is the fact Bruce’s mum passed away just before Christmas.

“All mum ever wanted was for Andrew to be found,” he said.

“The last time I saw her [alive] was at the hospital and she asked if we had any news about Andrew.

“I said ‘no’ and she said to me ‘then I will go and find him’.”

She died two days later never knowing what had happened to her beloved grandson.

Neither Bruce nor Suzanne have decided if they will attend the approaching court proceedings, saying they will cross that bridge when they come to it.

What they do know is they will never have closure until they get Andrew’s remains back.

“He doesn’t deserve to be dumped in a mineshaft or buried in a ditch,” Bruce said. 

“He needs to be buried with respect, he deserves that much at least.”

Bruce pleaded with anyone with information about Andrew to contact police.

“The public have been so great in helping, and we are so thankful,” he said.

“If anyone has any information which would help the police find Andrew, we ask them to call, even if it’s anonymously. We just want him back.”

Both Bruce and Suzanne said the police had been outstanding during the investigation.

“Joel [Fawkner] has put up with us. Sometimes we’ve rung up crying, sometimes we’ve rung up angry, but he’s always stuck by us,” she said.

Both Bruce and Suzanne said they will always remember Andrew as a kind and loving son.

“He was harmless, he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” Bruce said. “If anyone knows anything, please come forward and help us bring him home.

“There has to be someone who knows something, so if you do, please call the police.”

Bruce Herbert and Suzanne Wallace with a photo of their missing son, Andrew Russell. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

Bruce Herbert and Suzanne Wallace with a photo of their missing son, Andrew Russell. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK