UPDATE – Dec 11
Sadly, a body believed to be Bridget’s was recovered on Friday afternoon, with a cause of death yet to be determined. Those close to Bridget have requested privacy at this difficult time.
Friends and family of Bridget Flack wish to thank all those that have volunteered their time and resources, and those who have searched day and night to help in finding her over recent days.
The ways in which Bridget’s memory and legacy will be honoured wil be published in the Star Observer in coming days.
UPDATE – Dec 10
On Tuesday afternoon over 100 individuals, many of whom do not personally know Bridget Flack, joined together to scour the bushland along the Yarra Bend Park where she was last believed to have been sighted on the afternoon of Monday November 30.
Split up into approximately 18 groups, each were designated areas to search by volunteer coordinators. The area searched encompassed some 260 hectares and is one of the largest pockets of inner-city bushland in Melbourne. Despite the group’s best efforts and due to sometimes impenetrable and dense nature of the bushland, no items belonging to Bridget were retrieved during the search.
On Wednesday, spurred on by a number of reported sightings across Melbourne’s inner and outer north search groups spread the reach further than the Melbourne metro area but were similarly unsuccessful.
An update on the clothing Bridget was believed to be wearing was released on Wednesday, with these pictures below.
On the afternoon of the search, police didn’t participate in any way other than by speaking with half of the group members who had items of interest retrieved in their search.
Organisers claim that despite having tried to connect with them, Victoria Police have continued to “decline their invitation.” However, Victoria Police have confirmed that they will escalate their own search efforts with an air and water search to be conducted within the next 24 hours.
Members of the Facebook group Have You Seen Bridget?, which so far this week has already attracted over 3.5K followers, continue to coordinate the search efforts, posting updates, recourses and any leads that might prove beneficial. However, with Bridget having now been missing for 10 days, finding her safe and well becomes all the more crucial with each passing hours.
Anyone with information, is urged to get in touch with the search group coordinators through the Facebook group or to contact Melbourne North Police Station on 03 8379 0800.
The Melbourne community have mobilised and rallied together to help in the search for missing person Bridget Flack, who has been missing since Monday November 30.
Last seen on Lygon Street in Carlton around 10am on Monday. Bridget was believed to be carrying a light pink day pack with her. Later that day she was believed to have gone for a walk in the vicinity of Yarra Bend, though did not return home later that night.
Speaking with Star Observer, Bridget’s sister Angela Pucci Love said that for Bridget to have disappeared was unusual and that they “had been chatting daily for the last few weeks.”
Love adds that Bridget, “had been trying to get help for some mental health issues and had been waiting for a bed. Sadly a bed became available for her on Wednesday, two days too late.”
“I hadn’t heard from her on Monday, but I thought 24 hours wasn’t that unrealistic. Then Tuesday night came, and I hadn’t heard from her and her best friend hadn’t heard from her and they talk all the time, that’s when the alarm was raised.”
These areas have since been searched, but it doesn’t appear that anyone has been there recently.
“There are two things. Obviously we are desperately worried about her, but also being a transgender woman, I’m very concerned she is a much more vulnerable member of the public. We desperately need to know she is safe.
“There are two theories, there’s one side which is that she has been hurt or has hurt herself and the other side is that for whatever reason she just wants to disappear for a while.
“Obviously, we are hoping it’s the later, but I suppose it’s just making sure she knows that no one will be upset and that no one wants anything more than to know that she is safe.
“Anytime a member of the public has had a potential sighting we have been sent CCTV footage, to date none of them have been correct. I am acutely aware that it has been over a week now, which is terrifying, and the police information seems to always be four or five days late which is really hard to use to spark action.
“Bridget is so loved by her family and we support her so much, there are no issues about her not being accepted by her family. I think she has had such a hard year and I’m pretty certain COVID has cemented her struggles this year, as it has done with a lot of people. I think she has just reached a tipping point. We were happy she had said that she recognised she needed more help, it’s just a shame with the way the system is, it’s taken so long.”
Love concludes by saying that, “If Bridget is seen, call 000, we don’t know what head space she is in if she is doing this. Also from a mental health perspective it’s the fastest way to get her help right now.
“Her family and friends just want her to be safe and well, and we are just so thankful to the community for the tireless effort and the support. While I am very aware of the social traction that this has gained, I know how quickly news becomes old. We need to keep looking and we don’t give up.”
Police were unable to provide any further update when contacted by Star Observer on Tuesday morning, December 8. They have however requested that anyone who sees Bridget or has information about her current whereabouts contacts the Melbourne North Police Station on 03 8379 0800.
A Facebook group has been set up by Bridget’s friends and family to help in her search.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14