QUEENSLAND police have suspended the physical search for missing Newcastle man Jayden Penno-Tompsett.
Senior officers told the Newcastle Herald that all geographical search options in Charters Towers, where Mr Penno-Tompsett was last seen, have been “exhausted”.
However, the investigation into the 22-year-old’s baffling disappearance remains active and police say they are following a number of lines of inquiry.
Police remain tight-lipped about the course of the investigation, but said “we are not ruling anything out” and “all options are on the table”.
“As of this morning, we have assessed all of the search methodology applied in this case,” Townsville district police Inspector Roger Whyte said on Tuesday.
“It is of the view of search coordinators that we have exhausted all of the geographical search locations.
“But that is pending on any further information that may come from members of our community or throughout the course of the investigation.”
The Herald was told at this point the investigation is still being treated as a missing persons case.
Emergency services have scoured vast areas on the outskirts of Charters Towers to that end.
Read more: Mum joins search for missing son
It took more than a week to comb over a huge 85 square-kilometre search area in the town’s Breddan district – where Mr Penno-Tompsett’s travelling companion, Maitland’s Jacob Tattersall, told detectives he may have left the car in a fit of anger.
CCTV footage places Mr Penno-Tompsett at the Puma roadhouse, on the nearby Flinders Highway, on New Year’s Eve.
Police were told the men turned off the highway, with Mr Penno-Tompsett at the wheel, shortly after visiting the roadhouse.
Mr Tattersall has not responded to repeated requests for comment, but hit back at social media criticism with a Facebook post that read, in part: “He is my mate and I’m hurt too please stop making out I’m just some heartless prick that left him out there to die.”
Read more: ‘It’s the not knowing that’s most troubling’
Mr Penno-Tompsett’s parents, Rachel Penno and Brendan Tompsett, said it is out of character for their son not to contact friends or family.
“I still have hope he’s going to come back,” Ms Penno said last week. “I just want him to come back … I just want him to come back.”