Sevak Simonian inquest: Disappearance not linked to drug transactions

INQUEST: Missing busk walker Sevak Simonian.

INQUEST: Missing busk walker Sevak Simonian.

A BUSHWALKER who went missing in Kanangra-Boyd National Park almost five years ago was known to experiment with the cultivation of cannabis and undertake "guerrilla ops" looking for discreet, off the beaten track areas to grow cannabis in.

But at an inquest into his death before Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame found no evidence to suggest Sevak Simonian's disappearance was suspicious or is related to failed business or drug transactions.

Ms Grahame handed down her findings on May 22, after a three-day hearing in the NSW State Coroner's Court, Lidcombe in February, followed by further submissions in May.

Sevak Simonian was last seen alive on October 20, 2014, and was reported missing to police three days later. The inquest heard his parents held off going to police for a short time because Sevak was a keen bush walker and known to go adventuring from time to time. However after he failed to turn up to one of his two jobs as a take-away delivery driver on October 21, his family became concerned, and police were contacted.

At the same time family and friends commenced their own search and on October 24, at 6.30pm police were again notified when Sevek's father located his son's vehicle in a car park at the end of Kanangra-Boyd Road, 27km along a dirt road from the park entrance.

The following morning police launched an extensive 16-day search in the area, the largest ever undertaken in the Kanangra-Boyd National Park.

The inquest also heard of other police investigations which ran alongside the search and have also failed to provide credible information or sightings of Sevak alive.

A three volume brief of evidence was tendered to the coroner detailed Sevak's background, the days leading up to his disappearance and what he was doing at Kanangra-Boyd National Park.

The inquest heard at the time of his death Sevak had two jobs, working at Bunnings at as a delivery driver for an Indian restaurant. The last direct sighting of Sevak was with his friend Zareh Ohanian at Chatswood Bunnings, just after 8pm on October 20, and the following evening October 21, he failed to turn up for his shift.

His employer and family tried to contact him by phone with no success, and on October 23, 2014 the family filed a missing person report.

The inquest heard the following evening, October 24, Sevak's father, Massis Simonian, was led to Sevak's car, by his friend Zareh Ohanian. Zareh had suggested the family look in the area, and the inquest heard Zareh seemed to know "exactly where to go."

The following day, police were able to open the vehicle, where they found 23 containers of seaweed fertilizer and ten treated pine palings. The inquest heard of particular interest was a pair of gumboots that Sevak referred to as his snake boots, which he never went bush walking without.

Ms Grahame said since Sevak's disappearance police have undertaken substantial inquiries to ascertain whether Sevak could still be alive. The inquest also heard there was no evidence of any activity which might positively suggest Sevak remains alive.

In handing down her findings, Ms Grahame expressed her condolences to the family and said based on all available evidence, Sevak is dead. She found his death is highly likely to have occurred soon after he was last seen or in contact with family and friends, and while likely Sevak perished in bush land at Kanangra, that had not been established to the requisite standard. She also found no cogent evidence Sevak took his own life.