'It got scary': 22-year-old vanishes on New Year's Eve
THE father of a young man who disappeared off a Queensland highway after a mysterious fight isn't worried about what sparked the vanishing - he just wants him home.
Jayden Penno-Tompsett, 22, has not made contact with anyone since he was last seen near at Charters Towers roadhouse on the Flinders Highway in the early hours of December 31.
He and a friend got into an argument on the side of the road as they headed north on a boys trip away.
Queensland Police - who say they were "exploring all avenues" - have launched a major air and land search for Jayden, but have found no sign of the former demolition worker.
He hasn't touched his bank accounts, only has the clothes he was wearing and didn't have his phone when he disappeared.
It isn't known what Mr Penno-Tompsett and his friend were arguing about or why the friend and the other mates they were travelling with left him behind.
The group of mates were travelling from Newcastle to Cairns to celebrate New Year's Eve and had been planning the trip for months.
Brendan Tompsett, Jayden's father, told news.com.au he just wanted to know his son was okay.
"What we really want is we need to know that he's okay, as you can imagine the worst thing is the not knowing. We don't care what the issues were, that's really secondary at this point ... Just let us know he's safe."
He described his son as "a bit wild" who sometimes dealt with things alone and in his own time. But this behaviour was out of the ordinary.
"To not be in touch with some of his mates and to not let anyone know ... From what police have told me he hasn't used his bank account so that is fairly concerning. It's got scary."
Mr Tompsett discovered his son was missing on Wednesday morning after Jayden's close friend Jayson Hungerford called him. "He got in touch with me. It happened on the 31st and said his mates had tried to file a police report but they couldn't because they weren't family. they finally contacted Jayson, who got in touch with me."
There were a number of unanswered questions about what happened on New Year's Eve, but for now he just wanted to know Jayden was safe.
"Details are a bit sketchy. He had a blue with his mate and he got out [of the car] and he walked off."
The group then left, leaving Mr Penno-Tompsett behind hundreds of kilometres from their final destination.
Mr Tompsett was reluctant to comment when asked about their action. "It's something we'll have to deal with ... [why it happened] we are trying to find out as well, but we can't yet ... It's not going to solve anything at the moment. It is what it is ... We can't change what happened."
He hadn't spoken to the young men who Jayden argued with. "Other people have. It's pointless me ringing him up and being another person in his face. I'll deal with that one later."
He has a message for his son: "Whatever is going on we just need to know, just a phone call to let us know you are all right. Being a missing person is the worst thing ever for a parent ever. I'd rather know he is in hospital I'd rather know anything at all except for nothing. It's the not knowing is the worst thing. Just let us know you're okay."
Jayson Hungerford, the friend who called Mr Tompsett with the news his son was missing, was clinging to the hope he was hitchhiking and unaware of the rising panic in his loved ones.
"He wouldn't hesitate to hitchhike and all that so I'm hoping he's just on a very long trip home."
He too was grappling with why he had disappeared.
"I think it was just the argument with his mate and because it was his mates car I'm thinking he just didn't want to get back in his car cause they were fighting...But it is out of character for him."
Mr Penno-Tompsett was "usually always on top of it, no matter the situation", he said.
Queensland Police conducted an air and land search in the Tower Hill area on Thursday, but have since scaled it back to patrols after failing to locate Mr Penno-Tompsett or any items of interest.
"Police are exploring all avenues however accept that it is a possibility that Mr Penno-Tompsett, from Newcastle, is still travelling as part of his original plans and may not be aware that he has been reported missing."
Charters Towers officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Dean Cavanagh said.
Towers Hill property owners have been urged to check their properties for Mr Penno-Tompsett, while motorists are encouraged to contact police if they believe they may have seen him on New Year's Eve
Mr Penno-Tompsett is described as caucasian in appearance, 175cm tall and with mousy-brown hair.
He was last seen wearing a black singlet, navy blue board shorts, and black and red thongs.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Queensland Police's Policelink line on 131 444.