Man's family still looking for clues

The search for missing Sheffield man Nicola Sallese has entered its sixth year. Mr Sallese's son Jason talks to ALEX DRUCE about the continuing search for answers.

NICOLA Sallese played bowls on the weekend and loved his grandchildren more than anything.

But no-one has seen the 69-year-old since November 2008.

An Italian-born Australian, Mr Sallese was last seen driving through Sheffield in his silver 2005 Toyota Camry.

In more than five years, and despite an ongoing state-wide search, neither he or his car has resurfaced.

The youngest of Mr Sallese's two sons, Jason, said he accepted his father was no longer alive.

"We're always hopeful of finding out what happened, and we'll never give up, but you've got to be realistic too," he said.

"I'm not a big user of the word closure - I think we've gone beyond that - but it would be nice to put him to rest.

"I don't think you ever do get closure when something like this happens."

Jason Sallese is a shift worker at Hobart Airport.

He has two girls, while his older brother Nick jnr has a family of his own in Devonport.

Jason is also behind an ongoing social media campaign to keep his father in people's thoughts.

The Facebook page Help Find Nicola Sallese was started in 2010, 18 months after Mr Sallese disappeared.

"One lady said she thought she saw dad's car over St Helens way. To be honest I think the car is going to be the best chance we have of ever finding out what happened."

"A lot of people tell me: `Oh yeah, I remember that guy. I remember seeing the stuff on the TV and in the papers'," Jason said.

"They ask: `Haven't you found him? It's been so long? How can he still not be found?'

"I wish I knew."

The Facebook page shares information on a number of missing person cases (Mr Sallese is one of 150 people missing in Tasmania since 1955), while pointing to various TV spots and news articles on Missing Persons Week.

"Not a lot of new stuff comes through," Jason said.

"Anything I get, I send through to police, so they can be better equipped to look for dad.

"One lady said she thought she saw dad's car over St Helens way. To be honest I think the car is going to be the best chance we have of ever finding out what happened."

In April 2012, a coroner's statement said Mr Sallese probably died on or about November 17, 2008, and that an official inquest would not unearth anything further than the current search.

Jason said he would keep the Facebook page running on the off chance someone sees something. "Every now and again we like to put the case out there again, to try and jog people's memory," he said.

"Someone might come across a car, remember that my dad went missing, and put two and two together.

"But after five and a half years, you do ask yourself when that day is going to come."

Email adruce@examiner.com.au, Twitter @AlexDruce1987

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