The children of Mark Tromp have expressed relief that their father is now safe, but will not elaborate on any of the details that saw their family trip to New South Wales end in mysterious circumstances.
Ella and Mitchell Tromp said they were “jumping for joy” when their missing father, Mark Tromp, was found in Wangaratta, in northern Victoria on Saturday, but an explanation for his disappearance is no clearer.
Victoria Police are investigating the incident and the siblings told media at their home at Silvan, east of Melbourne, that they could not disclose any more information about the case.
They spoke to their father last night after he was taken to the Wangaratta police station.
The pair, referring to the situation as a “family matter”, said they were unable to say what had sparked the case because police are still investigating.
“More than anything we’re just happy that dad is alive and he’s going to come back home — all of the family is going to come back home — and we can get back to normal,” Ella Tromp said.
“It was all very confusing. I still feel confused. Mum and dad’s minds weren’t in the best places.”
“It’s hard to explain,” Mitchell Tromp added.
Mitchell Tromp said at no time did he feel he was in danger. He said he just had to go with the family to see where they were going.
“It was tough to see your family like that and I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
“But the main thing is they’re okay now and everyone’s safe, everyone’s well, we can just go back to being a family again.”
‘Just like my dad’
Mark Tromp is being cared for by family and friends in Wangaratta and the siblings said they had spoken to him and he was keen to get back home and get to work.
“He was my dad, just like he always is,” Mitchell Tromp said after speaking to his father on Saturday.
Jacoba Tromp remains in hospital and will see specialists on Monday but the pair were hopeful she would be released soon.
Another sister Rhiana is also in hospital in New South Wales and the siblings said her aunt was with her and her condition was improving every day.
Asked if he knew what sparked the incident, Mitchell Tromp said there were a few things but nothing he could state for sure “because I’m not certain”.
“There’s a few [things]… there’s nothing that I know for sure but there are possible things but I can’t say at this stage because I’m not certain,” he told reporters.
“I can see why they [the public] want to know but it’s a family matter and we just want the family to be back together and for everything to work itself out and I think it will.”
Timeline of the family road trip
Monday, August 29
- The family of five leave their Silvan redcurrant farm in a grey Peugeot station wagon with a large amount of cash, but bank cards and mobile phones are left behind
- Heading towards New South Wales, son Mitchell Tromp has his phone thrown out of the car window at Warburton, east of Melbourne
Tuesday, August 30
- Mitchell leaves the family trip at Bathurst
- The rest of the family travel to Jenolan Caves in the NSW central tablelands before the two daughters leave their parents at Goulburn
- Daughter Riana is hospitalised with stress-related health issues at Goulburn
- Police visit the Tromp family home after Mark and Jacoba are reported missing and find the house unlocked and paperwork everywhere
Wednesday, August 31
- The family’s car is found in Wangaratta in Victoria’s north-east after police receive a report that it was seen following another car
- Police pull the car over and a man, believed to be Mark Tromp, runs away into a nearby park
- The area is searched with sniffer dogs, but he is not found
- Mitchell and Ella Tromp make their way back to Victoria and arrive to find police at their farm
Thursday, September 1
- Jacoba Tromp is found and taken by a member of the public to Yass hospital where she is assessed for stress-related health concerns
- Mitchell and Ella appeal to the public for help to find their father
- Mitchell says his parents had mounting business pressures and were scared and paranoid when he left them on the trip
Friday, September 2
- Jacoba Tromp is transferred to Goulburn hospital to be treated alongside Riana
Saturday, September 3
- Mark Tromp is found on a street near the Wangaratta airport in “good health”
This story originally appeared on ABC News.
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