Mouldy bread and the mob: The theories behind the Tromp family saga.

Mouldy bread, mob connections and mental breakdowns: these are just a few of the theories circulating around what happened to the Tromp family.

The five-person family has been in the headlines over the past fortnight after they went “missing” on a family holiday.

The three adult children were the first to be found before both parents resurfaced almost a week later.

Mother Jacoba was found wandering around in a “dazed and confused state” while father Mark was found after a five-day man hunt.

There are now charges against 22-year-old daughter Ella for stealing a car in what many are viewing as her attempt to get home. Daughter and 29-year-old Riana was found in the back of a stranger’s ute while 25-year-old Mitchell made it home unscathed.

Mitchell, Riana and Ella Tromp. Image via Facebook.

This week on Mamamia Out Loud, we had a few theories about what really happened. Post continues below.

Police Sergeant Mark Knight told the Daily Mail he had been questioned in regards to what led to the bizarre road trip and had been questioned over some of the theories.

"I got asked on the night by certain people 'is there something in the water?'" he said.

Knight says he was able to rule out that theory as daughter Ella had made him a cup of tea at the family home during questioning.

"I said no, I'm sitting here drinking here a cup of tea - and I haven't taken off or had any delusional thoughts," he said.

Other theories have spread like wildfire through popular forums including Reddit where readers have attempted to collectively solve the mystery.

Mouldy Bread Theory

"My favourite theory is mouldy bread, a.k.a ergot induced psychosis."

"Strangely enough, ergot or carbon monoxide poisoning was my first reaction."


Ergot poisoning is a type of poison that occurs when an individual consumes a specific type of fungus found on rye and crops such as wheat and barley. Ergot can cause confusion, hallucinations and other mental health related issues.

Mob Trouble

"My theory is that there's a deep secret that has yet to be revealed... Nothing 'medical' about it. E.g. They're millions in debt and have a contract out on them .... They fled, trying to escape (hence the 'tech-free' explanation to the kids), got caught by the mob... Then some other things happened."

"Owing money and fleeing from dangerous debt collectors was my first thought, I have to admit. But it seems a bit deeper and weirder than that, really."

"It's possible that they are in some sort of 'trouble' and now with this bizarre mystery the whole country and decent amounts of people around the world are paying attention. Makes them pretty untouchable..."

Mental Health Theory

"It sounds to me like an isolated, very close knit family with at least two mentally ill parents. Again, to me, it seems like the illness the parents suffered from came to a crisis point and set off at least two other family members. The third kid went along, he says, to make sure the others didn't get hurt."

Farming Chemical Theory

"They're berry farmers. Farming chemicals another possibility?"

Gotta Catch 'Em All Theory

"They were playing PokemonGO."

Aussie TV Theory

"They're making an episode of Home & Away."

No TV Makes Homer Go Something-Something

"Maybe it was a regular holiday roadtrip and the lack of technology made them all flip their shit."

Feature image via Victoria Police.