Wife of missing man Ray Speechley makes heartfelt appeal

Missing man Ray Speechley at home in Dalmeny back in December celebrating Christmas with his family.

Missing man Ray Speechley at home in Dalmeny back in December celebrating Christmas with his family.

The wife of missing man Ray Speechley has made a heartfelt appeal for information with no news since he disappeared from a Dalmeny nursing home on Thursday.

Jan Speechley and the rest of his family are shattered by his disappearance and are hoping for any news at all as to where Ray could be.

“He is the most loving, gentle and appreciative person you could ever meet,” said his wife of 58 years, who has been with Ray since they were children. “I think the not knowing is the hardest part. It’s just heartbreaking.”

Daughter Nikkii Smith has been making appeals through social media, while their granddaughter Hayley who lives in Wollongong appeared on WIN Television on Monday night calling for any information.

Mrs Speechley said her husband who suffers from Alzheimer’s had been in good spirits until three weeks before his disappearance, enjoying bowls with his mates at the Dalmeny Bowling Club.

Then he had to go up to hospital in Canberra for a bone marrow autopsy as he had a form of leukaemia and the procedure had been hard on him, and symptoms of his dementia began showing.

Mr Speechley had been staying at IRT Dalmeny for respite after that hospital visit and she had only gone to visit him on Thursday a few hours before his disappearance and said he had seemed in good spirits.

Ray and Jan moved to the Narooma area from the Northern Rivers area back in September where they planned to live out the rest of their days.

Mrs Speechley believes she chose their home at Dalmeny precisely because it was near IRT Dalmeny where he would have known he was going to end up living. Her own brother had been a resident there and they were both familiar with the facility.  

Ray, who worked as a boilermaker, was born and raised in Wollongong, and one theory is that he may have been attempting to get back to there area where he grew up.

“He knew a lot of people where he grew up and had all his old fishing spots,” she said. “Ray is a deep thinker and he had been mentioning Wollongong a fair bit before he disappeared.”

The family is at a loss as to how someone could disappear in this day and age and why someone had not seen something. They continue to hold out hope that someone knows something and urge anyone with information to contact Narooma police on 4476 2044 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000. 

Mr Speechley is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 175cm tall, of medium build with grey hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing jeans and a dark jacket with a pyjama top underneath.

Police have been told a man similar in description to Mr Speechley was seen on the Princes Highway, Dalmeny, shortly after 4pm on Thursday. 

Related stories: