MATES brought Marc Mietus to Queensland 15 years ago.
Yesterday Marc's mysterious disappearance - and possible murder - brought his father to tears.
Mr Mietus and homicide detectives believe the 22-year-old was killed - possibly over drugs.
They hope a $250,000 reward will help bring closure to Marc's family.
Raised with his two sisters on the outskirts of Melbourne, the young man grew up with everything a kid could want.
He was a talented footy and tennis player who excelled at golf and appeared to have the world at his feet.
But a dark descent hit as his mother moved out and his shot at an AFL career was torn apart.
"There's two key things that happened in his life that probably set him in a direction that the family wasn't really impressed with," his father said.
"His mother walked out when he was 15 and at the same time he was training with the Northern Knights, which is the next step into the AFL, but they rejected him.
"That's one thing Marc couldn't handle - rejection.
"It set him off on the wrong path and he was hanging out with the wrong people - he shouldn't have been smoking marijuana."
But his new career wasn't enough to keep him grounded.
Just days after the clock ticked over on the new millennium, Marc began the two-day journey to Queensland, picking up a hitch-hiker in NSW.
The passenger offered him a place to stay at a Booyal property, near Childers, which he gladly accepted.
A few days later he rang his father, desperate for money.
"After all the assistance (we'd given him) I had to make a very hard decision," Mr Mietus said.
"I said 'Marc when you left, you went out on your own and it's up to you now to get on with your life'."
On January 26, 2000, a neighbour saw the Victorian lad get into a vehicle with a group of people at the Booyal farm.
"After 15 years the family is very desperate for closure," Mr Mietus said.
"I've got to be honest, I've resigned myself to the fact that he has probably met foul play.
"We're after closure - once we get that we can move on." Superintendent Steve Holahan, of the state's Homicide Group, said Marc was probably murdered.
"We certainly believe that Marc may have met with foul play," he said.
"We believe there are people who have definitive knowledge of what happened to Marc on that day - they are the people we're very interested in speaking to."
- APN NEWSDESK
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