MISSING: Sean Sargent with his father Tom and stepmother Ruth.
MISSING: Sean Sargent with his father Tom and stepmother Ruth. Tom Sargent

Father wants 18-year-long search to be over

THE father of missing soldier Sean Sargent just wants the 18-year-long mystery that has plagued his family to be over.

The inquest into the disappearance of his son, a former Pioneer State High student, starts Monday in Brisbane.

Tom Sargent thinks the coroner should simply find that his son is dead and declare that to be the case.

"I would like it to be all over and done with really," the former mine worker, who has retired to his beach home in Bucasia, said.

"I wish (the coroner) would would make a decision, if he is dead say he is dead. Otherwise where is he?"

The investigation into his son's disappearance has been a cold case for some time. Sean Sargent disappeared from an old school friend's house on Friday, March 19, 1999.

Pre-inquest documents revealed that the last night Sean was seen he bought a bottle of vodka and a bottle of Coke from a hotel in Brisbane about 8pm. He had gone to school friend Benjamin Snelling's house, at St Lucia, for a party.

About 11pm, Sean and three others, including Mr Snelling and Adam O'Donnell, drove to another party at St Lucia.

The three arrived at the party at 11.15pm and were only there for about 15 minutes because Sean allegedly got into a fight.

After that they went back to Mr Snelling's house.

Mr O'Donnell told police that about midnight he left the house to drive home when Sean walked past and he told Sean not to drive home.

Sean then told him he would sleep in the car.

That was the last confirmed sighting of Sean.

On Monday morning he didn't report to the Enoggera Army Barracks and an army warrant was issued for his arrest because he was Absent Without Leave.

Since then both military police and civilian police have investigated his disappearance, including searches of the river around St Lucia, checks on his bank accounts, passport, and vehicle and engine searches.

Mr Sargent said now with a five-day inquest approaching he wants it "all to go away".

"It has been so long and I am sick of it," he said. "There's not much hope after all that time. You wouldn't know what he looked or sounded like.

"(The police and military police) have done about everything. To be honest I think he is over a bank or in a river."

Before the inquest, coroner John Hutton asked for 25 witnesses and and investigators to give evidence but Mr Sargent doesn't expect all 25 to be available, with the whereabouts of many not known. 

"I don't think they have found most of (the witnesses) because my barrister hasn't told me, and he would if they found someone with more information," he said. 

The inquest starts on Monday. Mr Sargent is expected to give evidence on Wednesday.

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