Missing since: 
Sunday, May 21, 2023
Last seen: 
Rockhampton, QLD
Responsible jurisdiction: 
Year of birth: 
Distinguishing Features: 
Amputated left arm



Missing person Peter Roach was last seen on foot exiting the Rockhampton Hospital, QLD walking on Canning Street around 3:40pm on the 21st of May 2023 and has not been seen or heard from since. Police hold concerns for his welfare as he suffers from a medical condition which can cause him to suffer from confusion. Peter is described as Caucasian in appearance with brown eyes, dark and grey hair. He was last seen wearing a grey jumper, maroon shirt with long blue pants, and brown shoes.

Anyone with information which may assist in locating Peter ROACH is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Update: Missing man, Rockhampton

Queensland Police are continuing to search for 80-year-old Peter Roach who has been missing from The Range since yesterday afternoon.

Police, SES volunteers, two flood boats and Rescue 300 have been searching throughout the southside of Rockhampton including the Fitzroy River for any trace of the missing man. 

Police are also appealing to members of the public to help by checking their houses, yards and sheds for the missing man.

Peter Roach (pictured) was last seen on foot on Canning Street around 3:40pm yesterday and has not been seen or heard from since.

Police hold concerns for his welfare as he suffers from a medical condition which can cause confusion.

Peter is described as Caucasian in appearance with brown eyes, dark and grey hair. He was last seen wearing a grey jumper, maroon shirt with long blue pants, and brown shoes.

Police urge Peter, or anyone with information regarding his whereabouts to come forward immediately.


Elderly Rockhampton man Peter Roach an in-patient prior to disappearance


An elderly, non-verbal man who has been missing for two days was a hospital in-patient at the time of his disappearance, the health department has confirmed.

Peter Roach, 80, was last seen walking along Canning Street, near Rockhampton Hospital, about 3:40pm on Sunday, and has not been seen or heard from since.

Police said they were concerned for Mr Roach's welfare as he had a medical condition which could cause confusion.

Allison Cassidy, general manager for the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service, confirmed Mr Roach was a patient at Rockhampton Hospital before he went missing.

"As soon as he was known to be missing, our staff immediately alerted police, ambulance and the patient's next of kin," Ms Cassidy said.

"Our security staff are working with police to provide them with all possible information.

"This incident has been distressing for our team. Our thoughts are with this patient and his family, and we are hoping he is found safe and well."

The health service was unable to provide further comment.

Search continues

Police launched a large-scale search for Mr Roach in Rockhampton on Monday, involving SES volunteers, boats and a helicopter.

Police have asked residents on the south side of town to check their properties for the elderly man.

"We're asking all the residents in the area to check their yards, check their sheds, check underneath their houses," Inspector Mark Burgess from Rockhampton Police said.

"He does suffer from a medical condition. He is in his 80s, is non-verbal and he has one arm. 

"So there's a lot of vulnerability around this."

Inspector Burgess said there was no known danger to the public.

On Sunday night the temperature in Rockhampton dropped to 7.2 degrees Celsius, and 10.4C overnight Monday.

"Certainly two nights out in the open enhances the vulnerability … we are very concerned for the person's welfare and their safety," Inspector Burgess said.

Mr Roach is described as being Caucasian in appearance with brown eyes, and dark and grey hair.

He was last seen wearing a grey jumper, maroon shirt with blue pants and brown shoes.

Police are continuing their search efforts.

Update 2: Missing man, Rockhampton

Police are scaling back search efforts, whilst appeals for information remain ongoing regarding 80-year-old man, Peter Roach, missing from The Range since last Sunday, May 21.

Peter was last seen leaving a Canning Street address on foot at approximately 3:40pm and has not been seen or heard from since.

Over the past five days, police have coordinated extensive search and rescue operations throughout the southside of Rockhampton, including the Fitzroy River, with assistance from SES volunteers, flood boats and the Rescue 300 helicopter.

Other search methods including residential door knocks have also been undertaken, however, all efforts have failed to locate Peter.

Police have been in constant contact with Peter’s family who have asked for privacy during this difficult time and have expressed appreciation for the many SES volunteers and emergency services involved in the search.

Rockhampton residents and members of the public are encouraged to thoroughly check their properties for Peter, and to report any potential sightings to police.

Peter, pictured, is described as Caucasian in appearance, approximately 175cm tall, with a slim build, brown eyes, and dark-grey hair.

He was last seen wearing a grey jumper with long blue pants, a maroon shirt, and brown shoes.

Peter has a medical condition which may cause him to be disoriented.

Anyone with information regarding Peter’s whereabouts should immediately contact Triple Zero (000).


Missing dementia patient Peter Roach had walked out of Rockhampton Hospital several times

ABC Capricornia
By Katrina BeavanJasmine Hines

Peter Roach had dementia, was deaf and vision-impaired when he left his ward at the Rockhampton Hospital in May last year.

An extensive land, water and air search involving police and the SES followed.

Almost 12 months on, Mr Roach has not been found.

His younger brother Rodney Roach said the hospital had failed in its duty of care.

"To be able to walk out of the hospital not once or twice, but quite a few times … knowing that a person has dementia, they've got to change their attitude about it," he said.

"These people need help … there's too many cracks in the system."

While police are still treating Mr Roach's disappearance as an active missing person's case, his brother said the search was called off as he had likely already died.

"The Rockhampton Hospital advised them [the SES] that without his medication, because he was pretty frail and that it was cold, that he wouldn't last," Rodney Roach said.

Right to information

Shortly after the incident, the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CQHHS) said it had reviewed what happened and changed some of the hospital's processes.

But the hospital would not confirm how Mr Roach left, or what changes had been made.

Newly released documents show Mr Roach had escaped from the hospital several times in the months before his disappearance.

The documents, obtained by the ABC through the right to information process, also show the disappearances were not always reported correctly.

They also show staff did not notice Mr Roach was not in his ward until two hours after he had left the hospital.

It comes as experts call for a standardised process for aged care centres and hospitals to follow when people with dementia go missing, to increase the likelihood of patients being found alive.

What happened?

According to hospital documents, Mr Roach was seen bedside on the afternoon of May 21 between 2pm and 3pm.

CCTV shows he left the ward about 3:30pm while staff rushed to a medical emergency involving another patient.

Mr Roach walked out of the hospital moments later, but was not discovered missing until two hours later, around 5:45pm.

Security was contacted and police arrived at 7pm.

He had come to hospital 56 days earlier, after wandering from his home.

Documents show he had wandered from the ward multiple times during his stay.

In one instance, he was found outside on the ambulance ramp.

In another, staff at a nearby hospital found him and took him back to Rockhampton Hospital.

Rodney Roach said his brother had also been found at a local park and was returned by a council worker.

The documents show staff had noticed Mr Roach would sit by the exit, and would "redirect" him back to his room on a daily basis during his stay.

Though some instances were reported to relevant supervising staff, that was not the case every time, and the incidents were not entered into the hospital's risk database.

Changes to processes

An action review meeting was held after Mr Roach's disappearance to discuss what had happened and if any changes needed to be made to prevent similar incidents.

It did not take place until a month after Mr Roach's disappearance, despite the document showing such meetings were recommended to be held within 48 hours of an incident.

Notes from the meeting show changes had been introduced, with doors on the ward automatically locking and signs in place to alert visitors to check behind them when coming and going from the ward.

There was also discussion about the location of the entry buzzer and reviewing doors at the end of ward as they were slow to automatically shut.

A separate report also recommended staff undertake incident reporting training, and that the multidisciplinary team "meet regularly" to discuss plans for complex patients such as Mr Roach.

CQHSS general manager Allison Cassidy said his disappearance was "deeply concerning" but incidents concerning patient safety were thoroughly investigated.

She said a comprehensive review involving internal and external experts had since been completed, with the hospital implementing those recommendations.

"Since this incident, the access process for the ward involved has been reviewed and all visitors are now escorted by hospital staff on entry and exit," Ms Cassidy said.

She said staff had also been educated about identifying and reporting risks.

Additional security needed

Dementia Training Australia director Margaret MacAndrew said wandering was a challenge for family and healthcare providers and affected about 50 per cent of people with a dementia diagnosis in residential aged care.

"The only evidence we have around who is probably going to go missing is those who have gone missing before … and in those situations, then additional security to maintain their safety is needed," she said.

Dr MacAndrew said while technology such as alarms and GPS trackers could assist, there were limits with technology and it was essential for people to report missing people with dementia quickly.

She said she was developing a missing person's procedure for health services to better respond.

"After six hours the chances of finding them alive starts to decrease, so the faster we involve the police and they start their specialised search, the greater the potential of finding them alive," she said.

In the almost year since his brother's disappearance, Rodney Roach said the hospital had told him nothing until very recently, despite his requests for information.

"The dead silence is pretty hard to put up with," he said.

After the ABC contacted the CQHHS, Rodney Roach had a lengthy phone meeting with the health service.

He said he was pleased to hear processes had changed, but it would not bring back his brother.

"Let's hope it saves someone else," he said.