ON MONDAY, Noel Baines should have been celebrating his 48th birthday with his family and friends.
But instead his family is devastated after police discovered human remains in his car at the Tomahawk Creek fossicking grounds between Rubyvale and Clermont.
The remains were discovered on Sunday.
His family has tirelessly searched for him since he disappeared on February 9 from his Sapphire home, travelling 5000km in their search. They never gave up hope their father was alive, and on a social media tribute page the messages have been streaming through, reminiscing about Noel’s life.
Daughter Susan Michelle wrote on Facebook: “We would like to thank you all for your ongoing support and care that you have all shown us, and we will never forget it.”
Mr Baines had 11 grandchildren, who Susan said were heartbroken by the news.
Anakie Police Senior Constable Ted Thiel said police were not treating the death as suspicious.’
AUTHORITIES suspended an air search on Tuesday for a missing man near Rubyvale.
Noel Baines, 47, was last seen driving a blue Toyota Vienta with registration 040 SAG at Graves Hill about 10.30am on Saturday.
Ground searches by police and SES continued on Tuesday afternoon without success.
Mr Baines’s daughter, Jessie, said her father suffered from Asperger’s disorder and depression and “had hit a really low point” before his disappearance.
“He wrote a will and left it on his bed,” Jessie said.
Emerald officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Peter McFarlane said they feared for the man’s safety.