RECORD OF INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH (WITHOUT INQUEST)
Coroners Act 1995
Coroners Rules 2006
I, Timothy John Hill, Coroner, having investigated the disappearance of
WITHOUT HOLDING AN INQUEST
I have decided not to hold an inquest into the disappearance of Mr Sallese because the investigation into his disappearance has sufficiently disclosed his identity, the time, place and date of his disappearance and relevant circumstances concerning his disappearance together with the particulars needed to register the death under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1999.
Having conducted an investigation I do not consider that the holding of an inquest would elicit any information further to that disclosed by the enquiries conducted.
(a) Nicola Sallese was born in Italy on 10/10/1939 and was aged 69 year(s);
(b) Mr Sallese was widowed and a retired electrician at the time of his disappearance;
(c) I find that Mr Sallese went missing on or about 17 November 2008 and is presumed deceased.
CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE DEATH : -
Mr Sallese was born in Vasto, Italy. At the age of 21 years he emigrated to Australia moving to Tasmania in1961.He worked for the Hydro Electric Commission (HEC) until his retirement in the late 1990’s. Mr Sallese wife passed away in 2000 and this had a major impact on him. His two sons both live in Tasmania. In retirement he formed a close association with the Sheffield Bowls Club. He regularly played bowls in Saturday competitions.
Mr Sallese was suffering from dementia and high blood pressure. He also had difficulty sleeping and was under the care of his general practitioner. Mr Sallese’s son Nicholas had been given power over his financial affairs due to his deteriorating mental health condition. I note that there had been some discussion with Mr Sallese about his ability to retain his driving licence. This arose after he had been involved in a couple of minor traffic crashes. Mr Sallese was concerned about the loss of his driving licence.
At about 8.45pm on Sunday 16 November 2008 Mr Sallese rang his son Nicholas. Arrangements were made for Nicolas Sallese to attend at his father residence at 139 Vinegar Hill Road, Sheffield the following day.
Around lunchtime the following day the local ‘Meals on Wheels’ dropped Mr Sallese’s meal off at a friend’s address. Mr Sallese would ordinarily pick the meal up later. The meal was never picked up.
Later that afternoon Mr Nicholas Sallese rang his father to inform him he would not be able to attend as arranged. The phone was not answered. Mr Nicholas Sallese left a message indicating he would attend the following day.
On Monday 17 November 2008 Mr Sallese was observed driving his Silver 2005 Toyota sedan registered number FH2973 on Sheffield Main Road towards the junction with Bridle Track Road. This is the last confirmed sighting of Mr Sallese.
Following a number of further calls by Mr Nicholas Sallese to his father that went unanswered that evening, Mr Sallese went to his father’s home. He found the residence locked up and secure. His father’s dog was in its kennel. Mr Sallese was not present and his vehicle was missing. Mr Sallese was reported as a missing person later that evening by his son.
Tasmania Police have conducted an extensive investigation into the disappearance of Mr Sallese since he was last seen on the 17 November 2008. Those investigations, in part included the following lines of enquiry.
• Numerous media releases have been generated since the disappearance of Mr Sallese
• Checks were made at major airports and seaports and airlines. There is no evidence that Mr Sallese left or attempted to leave Tasmania.
• Enquiries with the Immigration Department revealed that Mr Sallese had not left Tasmania since his return to the country in 2006.
• There is no evidence that Mr Sallese had accessed his accounts since the date of his disappearance.
• Telephone records of Mr Sallese home telephone did not reveal any evidence as to the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.
• A number of further reports were made to Tasmania Police concerning sightings of Mr Sallese. None of those have been confirmed.
• Tasmania Police have conducted a number of targeted searches at various locations throughout Tasmania to locate Mr Sallese. All have met with negative results.
• An extensive ground search was conducted of the yard and paddocks surrounding Mr Sallese’s residence.
• A forensic examination was conducted of Mr Sallese’s residence at 139 Vinegar Hill Road. There was no evidence of foul play.
• The Westpac helicopter was used to conduct a search of the Sheffield area by Tasmania Police.
• The disappearance of Mr Sallese was the subject of a commercial television ‘Missing Persons’ program.
• Mr Sallese’s disappearance was included in publicity associated with the ‘National Missing Persons week’ campaign by the Australian Federal Police.
The investigation file into the disappearance of Mr Sallese has been overviewed by a senior investigator from Tasmania Police. Detective Inspector Wright concluded that, ‘there is no available evidence to suggest that any person is responsible for the disappearance of Mr Sallase….It is remarkable that Mr Sallese’s vehicle has not been located in the (time) since his disappearance, however that fact alone does not suggest foul play is involved’.
I note from the information contained on the police investigation file there that is no evidence to suggest that Mr Sallese is still alive. His vehicle has never been recovered.
Mr Sallese has made no contact with his family since his disappearance in 2008. This is completely at odds with the close relationship he enjoyed prior to his disappearance.
COMMENTS & RECOMMENDATIONS -
Having carefully considered the material on the investigation file, I find that Mr Sallese died on or about 17 November 2008.
I am unable to make any findings as to the cause and manner of Mr Sallese’s death. His body and his motor vehicle have never been located.
However, I am satisfied based on the information that has been made available to me that the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Mr Sallese are not suspicious.
I note that Tasmania Police maintain a watching brief in respect to the disappearance of Mr Sallese.
Before I conclude this matter, I wish to convey my sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.
This matter is now concluded
DATED: 19 April 2012 at Launceston in the state of Tasmania