Gordana Kotevski. Amanda Robinson. Zac Barnes. These are just a few of the names of more than a dozen people who have vanished in the Hunter Region and remain missing to this day.
Sunday marked the beginning of Missing Persons Week - an initiative of the Australian Federal Police to raise awareness about the more than 38,000 people who vanish across the country each year, in the hope that someone might come forward with a piece of the puzzle that brings answers to a suffering family.
This year, police are encouraging communities to remember that missing people are individuals, not simply statistics.
"The people captured in the statistic are not just missing persons, they are fathers, daughters, and sons; students, chefs and academics, we don't want people to forget that," AFP Commander Justine Gough said in a statement on Sunday.
"Anyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or educational background, may face the issue of someone they know becoming a missing person.
"It is crucial we reach the wider Australian community - those who have never thought about a missing person, or who believe the impact of a missing person will never affect them.
"The community also plays a critical role in helping police find people who go missing."
The Hunter is no stranger to the tragedy of a people disappearing.
Fourteen-year-old Amanda Robinson was on her way home from a dance at Gateshead High School on April 21, 1979. As far as police know, she was last seen walking along Lake Road at Swansea before she vanished.
Gordana Kotevski, 16, was walking through suburban Charlestown - only a stone's throw from the shopping centre where she had been spending time with friends - at about 8.45pm on November 24, 1994, when she was bundled into a car at Powell Street.
Almost 25 years later, she has not been found.
At about 8pm on November 13, 2016, 18-year-old Zac Barnes got out of a friend's car at Thornton and was never seen again.
Newcastle man Jayden Penno-Tompsett, 22, was on a road trip with mates to spend New Year's Eve in far north Queensland when he disappeared at the small town of Charters Towers, about 130km from Townsville.
He was last seen in the early hours of December 31, 2017.
This year's Missing Persons Week runs until Saturday, August 10.
Anyone with information they think could help police in the search for a missing person can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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