Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Rowan Wallace COOK

Inquest into the Death of Rowan Wallace COOK

Delivered on :3 January 2017

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner King

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : The deceased was an IT professional with considerable experience in bushwalking and camping. In the last few years before his disappearance he had cut ties with family and friends.  In early September 2013 he travelled to Western Australia.

On 20 September 2013 the deceased placed his vehicle into a self-storage facility in Bassendean and caught a TransWA bus to Walpole. He was equipped with a backpack, a one-person tent, a light tarp, lightweight sleeping and cooking gear and provisions.   Between 20 September 2013 and 2 October he set up a campsite at Aldridge Cove, a remote location on the coast west of Walpole.  On 2 October 2013 he went to Walpole, bought supplies and returned to Aldridge Cove.

On the evening of 21 November 2013, a man who had camped at Aldridge Cove on 18 and 19 November 2013 notified police that he had seen what turned out to be the deceased’s campsite at Aldridge Cove, complete with the deceased’s telephone and personal effects, but that he had not seen the owner of the campsite.

Over the next five days, police officers conducted an investigation and, with the involvement of the State Emergency Service, Volunteer Marine Search and Rescue and the Department of Parks and Wildlife, carried out a search for the deceased. They were unable to locate him.  Despite further searches and inquiries, no sign of the deceased has been seen.

The inquest heard evidence of significant natural dangers at Aldridge Cove, including steep cliffs in the ocean, king waves, sharks and snakes.

The Coroner found beyond all reasonable doubt the deceased is dead but was unable to find how the death occurred or the cause of death.

Catch Words : Missing Person : South Coast: Camping: Open Finding.

Last updated: 30-Apr-2019

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