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Sandman van a key to disappearance: police

Thu July 12, 2012 3:17pm

POLICE suspect a western Queensland couple who disappeared without trace a week ago have been victims of foul play.

Mount Isa pair Scott Maitland, 35, and Cindy Masonwells, 33, were last seen on Thursday, July 5, when they collected a restored classic Holden panel van from a workshop in Cairns.

They had flown in from Mount Isa to attend a friend's engagement party the next night, but never arrived at the event.

Scott's father Wayne Maitland says it is out of character for his son and his girlfriend to go so long without talking to friends and family.

"The concern we've got is how can two people just disappear," he told reporters in Cairns on Thursday.

Mr Maitland said his son grew up in Cairns and was well known in the community.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ed Kinbacher said it was possible the pair had a traffic accident and had not yet been found, but it was unlikely.

"Our investigations are presently focused on whether there is a third party involvement," he said.

Det Sen Sgt Kinbacher said the couple's bank accounts and phones had not been used since their disappearance.

He said police were hoping the vehicle they picked up after arriving in Cairns, a green 1975 Holden Sandman, might hold a clue to their disappearance.

The panel van had recently been stolen and Scott had "made investigations and inquiries himself" to find it, Det Sen Sgt Kinbacher said.

"At the moment ... there is a potential link between that event and this present situation," he said.

Mr Maitland said his son was planning a move to NSW to be closer to his daughter.

"(He's) a good worker, a good family man," he said.

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