Just days away from his 11th birthday in 1987, Studio 10 co-host and journalist Joe Hildebrand watched as his younger brother, nine-year-old Paddy, wandered up ahead on a family bush walk. They never saw him again.
“We were all working along as a group… Paddy just rounded a bend, and we never saw him again,” he told Sarah Harris in an exclusive for the Channel 10 morning show.
For a then 10-year-old Hildebrand, it was hard to grasp that Paddy, who went missing in Lilly Pilly Gully in Victoria and had a developmental delay due to Gastaut syndrome, wouldn't be coming home.
"Even for a couple of days afterwards, I always thought he'd be found. There we so many people looking for him, how could all these people, all these big strong men, how could they not find him?"
Listen: What it's like when a loved one goes missing.
Sharing the details of one of Victoria's largest missing person cases, Hildebrand spoke of how Paddy's disappearance affected his family, already fractured by the breakdown of his parents' relationship.