The last picture of ‘missing’ Aussie man

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A Melbourne family is calling for an inquest into the mysterious suspected death of Luke Huggard, as well as a death certificate, six years after he disappeared.

Jessica Huggard has accepted her brother is dead, but without a death certificate or answers to what happened, her family is yet to say goodbye.

Now she is demanding answers from the New South Wales Coroners Court on behalf of her family.

The last time Ms Huggard saw her younger brother is immortalised in a photo taken on a bench at Melbourne Airport in 2015 before he boarded a plane to Sydney.

The last picture Jess Huggard has with her brother Luke, Picture: FacebookThe last picture Jess Huggard has with her brother Luke, Picture: Facebook

Two years later, the 32-year-old disappeared. It is believed he took his life at notorious suicide spot The Gap in Sydney’s east, but his body was never recovered.

Three days before he died, he was arrested in the same spot.

“He deserves better than this,” Ms Huggard said in a live video posted to her Facebook account.

“I need this funeral for my brother. He deserves to have a funeral and he deserves a proper goodbye,” she told

Jess and Luke Huggard as children. Picture: FacebookJess and Luke Huggard as children. Picture: Facebook

Ms Huggard described her younger brother as an “amazing” man who could light up any room when he walked in.

“My brother was a really charismatic, six-foot, very gay man and he grew up in a world that didn’t accept that,” she said.

He grew up in Melbourne, where he completed an arts degree and studied a postgraduate journalism degree. In 2015 he moved to Sydney to study law.

Ms Huggard said her brother “found himself” in Sydney, but had been dealing with mental illness for some time and soon developed a drug addiction.

But she said when he died, Luke had been clean for about 18 months after attending rehab, but he was still taking prescription medication.

Luke Huggard during a trip to Disney World. Picture: SuppliedLuke Huggard during a trip to Disney World. Picture: Supplied

“Two weeks before he died, he had a job, he had bought animals again, he had his own apartment. He was functioning, he was clean and happy,” she told

She believes he was in a withdrawal-induced psychosis when he took his life at The Gap and she says there is “ample amounts of evidence” pointing to his death.

On April 1, 2017, three days before Mr Huggard’s suspected death, he was arrested while attempting to take his life also at The Gap.

After taking him into custody, police transferred him to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney’s eastern suburbs where he was assessed in the emergency department before being admitted to an acute mental health unit.

Mr Huggard was transferred to the Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick. Picture: Richard DobsonMr Huggard was transferred to the Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick. Picture: Richard Dobson

Mr Huggard was placed on observation with a report declaring he was experiencing systematised delusions and suicidal ideation, reports.

“The patient was placed on withdrawal observations as he was experiencing anxiety and agitation which was felt to be in the context of an amphetamine withdrawal,” the report states, according to the news site.

“The patient was referred to, and then reviewed by, the drug and alcohol clinical nurse consultant, who supported self-referral to a stimulant treatment program as part of the discharge plan.”

The report said Mr Huggard was reviewed by a psychiatrist on April 4 and after he was found to be no longer experiencing delusional ideas and suicidal ideation, was discharged with a referral to a GP in Camperdown in the city’s inner west.

He never showed.

The Gap at Watsons Bay is a notorious spot.The Gap at Watsons Bay is a notorious spot.

On the same day CCTV footage from The Gap appeared to show a man matching Mr Huggard’s description.

Police were contacted the next day by a friend filing a missing person’s report. Police said they suspected he had died but a body was never found.

Nonetheless, he is still listed as a missing person on the Australian Federal Police’s missing person’s list which says police hold “grave concerns” for his welfare.

A police investigation concluded Mr Huggard was likely dead, and in 2018 the matter was referred to the coroner. That is where it stopped, and the family have been left with few answers since.

Ms Huggard said on Facebook that she was told at the time it would be six weeks before an inquest began. But it never came.

The portrait of Luke Huggard on his missing persons alert. Picture: Australian Federal Police.The portrait of Luke Huggard on his missing persons alert. Picture: Australian Federal Police.

She said the family now desperately want an inquest to produce a death certificate so the family can finally hold a funeral for their son and brother.

The Huggards are also demanding answers to why he was discharged from hospital alone and why the family were not notified of his whereabouts when he was admitted to the mental health unit.

“It feels like we are being punished for something that it is just a tragic situation all around,” Ms Huggard said.

“All I’m asking for is a coroner to take notice and stop telling me it’s going to be another six months.”

She has started a petition asking for help to give her brother “the funeral he deserves” and close the chapter on the “traumatic experience”.

“I will not rest until he gets what he deserves,” she said in the video.

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“It needs to be sorted now. I will not wait another year.”

NSW Police and the Coroners Court have declined to comment on the matter.

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