Missing man 'now at peace and will be sorely missed'

UPDATE: Family and friends of Toowoomba's Paul Anderson have paid tribute to his memory after the tragic end to a three-week search.

Dean Anderson, on behalf of his family, said Paul would always be remembered as "the kid with the cheeky grin".

In thanking friends for their support during the agonising search for Paul since he went missing from Toowoomba on December 15, Dean said his brother was "now at peace" and would be greatly missed.

"He had a happy knack of touching people's hearts without even trying," Mr Anderson said.

Born in Millmerran, Paul was the youngest of three and was raised on the land and quickly became his "dad's right-hand man" as a capable horseman and plant operator.

"One of his greatest passions was to leave home in the morning with his lunch, drink and his dog and spend hours driving back and forth in his tractor.

"You always see him stop for his lunch in the paddock and come home just in time for dinner."

MAN OF THE LAND: Paul Anderson will be remembered for his \
MAN OF THE LAND: Paul Anderson will be remembered for his \"cheeky grin\" and love of family and friends. He was found dead in Central Queensland after going missing from Toowoomba three weeks ago on December 15. Contributed

When his parents retired they moved to Toowoomba and brought Paul with them where he took up a position with the Endeavour Foundation.

"Sadly, Paul's mental state deteriorated over the last six months," Mr Anderson said.

"He is now at peace and will be sorely missed by all his family and all the other lives he has touched."

Paul had been on his way to his shift at Toowoomba's Endeavour Foundation supported employee workplace on December 15 when he went missing.

It was a job he loved and was a forklift operator who became known for his quiet yet sociable manner.

Colleague Christopher Fry worked alongside Paul at the Toowoomba business and said the pair became friends.

Missing man 49-year-old Paul Anderson from Middle Ridge has been missing since about 7am Friday, December 16.
Missing man 49-year-old Paul Anderson from Middle Ridge has been missing since about 7am Friday, December 16.

"I've known Paul for years and years," Mr Fry said.

"It was a real shock for me and so sad.

"We got on pretty good together; he drove the forklift and I went along behind.

"We used to joke and carry on - we were a team.

"I'll really miss him."

A report will be prepared for the coroner after it is determined how Paul died.

His distinctive cream-coloured Proton Jumbuck was found on a rural property outside Clermont in Central Queensland about 3pm on Tuesday.

But his disappearance is not what he will be remembered for, but rather his dedication to family, friends and colleagues.

Endeavour Foundation chief executive Andrew Donne said the organisation's thoughts were with Paul's family.

"Known for his quiet, yet sociable nature, Paul was an integral part of the Endeavour Foundation team for almost nine years," he said.

"Much loved and highly valued, he will be sadly missed.

"On behalf of our staff and, most importantly, Paul's colleagues in Toowoomba, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Anderson family."

Paul was 49 years old.

9.40AM: The disappearance of Toowoomba man Paul Anderson will be investigated after he was found dead inside his vehicle in remote Central Queensland.

Police are yet to determine how Mr Anderson, 49, died after a rural property manager made the grisly discovery late Tuesday afternoon.

Police will also probe how Mr Anderson travelled more than 270km from his last known location in Duaringa without being spotted until his cream coloured Proton Jumbuck was found on Ellendale Station near Theresa Creek outside Clermont about 3pm yesterday.

Toowoomba Police Inspector Stephen Angus said Mr Anderson was found in the driver seat of his ute by a property owner who had been working on the land.

It is unknown how long the vehicle had been at the location, Insp. Angus said.

"(The property owner) was not specifically looking for the vehicle but when it was located and not sure of what was inside, they called police," Insp. Angus said.

He said Mr Anderson was identified through personal items found inside the vehicle including a wallet and other documents, but a formal identification was yet to be done.

He said a cause of death had yet to be established but there were no suspicious circumstances or indications of injuries as a result of a collision.

The grim discovery ends a three-week search for any sign of the Middle Ridge man for his family which had launched aerial searches across the Central Queensland region.

Mr Anderson's last confirmed sighting was after a fuel drive-off at petrol station in Duaringa on December 17.

Insp. Angus said Mr Anderson's family had since paid for the fuel and food.

MISSING: Paul Anderson.
MISSING: Paul Anderson.

EARLIER: The desperate search to find missing Middle Ridge man Paul Anderson has ended, after he was found dead almost three weeks after last being seen.

Mr Anderson, 49, was due to start his shift at the Endeavour Foundation in Toowoomba on December 15.

After he failed to show, authorities launched an appeal to help locate him, with confirmed sightings in Westwood and Duaringa in Central Queensland on December 17.

During the time he was missing his family made heartfelt pleas to urge the public to keep a look out for Mr Anderson as he had early onset dementia and an intellectual disability.

Queensland Police said there were no suspicious circumstances in relation to the death.

Police are preparing a report for the coroner.

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