Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald
Anna Falkenmire

Missing man's ute found abandoned in bushland, sparking major search

A major search is under way for Craig Wheatley, 48, after his ute was found abandoned in the Watagan State Forest. Pictures supplied by NSW Police, Cessnock VRA
Cessnock VRA has been assisting in the major, multi-agency search. Picture supplied by Cessnock VRA
Craig Wheatley's vehicle, a 2022 white Toyota Hilux Workmate, was located on a track off Georges Road in the Watagan State Forest about 8pm on January 30. Picture supplied by NSW Police
Craig Wheatley, aged 48, remains missing. Picture supplied by NSW Police

A MISSING man's ute has been found abandoned in bushland near Cessnock, sparking a massive search from the land and sky.

Craig Wheatley, 48, was last seen at a licensed venue at Doyalson on the Central Coast at about 3am on Australia Day, January 26.

Tuggerah Lakes police launched an investigation and the focus has shifted to the Hunter, with officers believing Mr Wheatley is missing in bushland near Cessnock.

It comes after his white 2022 Toyota Hilux Workmate was discovered on a track off Georges Road in the Watagan State Forest at about 8pm on January 30.

A multi-agency search of the area was launched and police - backed by PolAir from above and assisted on the ground by the dog squad, firefighters, the SES and Volunteer Rescue Association - have been combing the area.

Despite the major search in the forest across two days, Mr Wheatley has not been found.

Police and his family hold serious concerns for his welfare and say his disappearance is out of character.

Police are interested in speaking with anyone who may have seen the white Toyota Hilux Workmate in the Watagan State Forest area in the past few days.

Mr Wheatley is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 190 centimetres tall, with grey hair and a grey beard.

He was last seen wearing a black shirt and black shorts.

Anyone with information into Mr Wheatley's whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.