by Geoff Egan
IT WAS not unusual for Jason John Vance to disappear for a few days.
But when friends of the 42-year-old father of three had not heard from him at all for over a week, they knew something was wrong.
A coronial inquest will investigate what happened to Mr Vance when he disappeared in October 2013.
A pre-inquest conference in Brisbane on Thursday heard Mr Vance, a known drug user, travelled from his Rockhampton home to Brisbane with a plan to use his tax return to buy the drug ice then sell it.
The court heard Mr Vance flew to Brisbane to meet up with drug associates but stayed in touch with his Rockhampton housemate. The housemate, who has not yet been named, told police the last he heard from Mr Vance was on October 20, 2013 when he was going to the Gold Coast.
The housemate told police Mr Vance had been couch surfing and at one stage had $1000 and his phone stolen from him. He said Mr Vance was a heavy drinker and could be violent when drunk.
The court heard police investigations found Mr Vance spoke to numerous people about making and selling ice on the Gold Coast.
Police discovered he eventually met up with a man and a woman and drove in two cars to the Barakula State Forest near Chinchilla.
The court heard police found the three planned on cooking drugs in the forest. But after the three got to the forest Mr Vance was never heard from again.
The two people who travelled with Mr Vance to the forest said he had wandered off during the night and they never saw him again. The court heard the two briefly looked for him in the morning before they drove away, but left one of the cars.
Police found the car which still contained Mr Vance's backpack - but not his wallet or phone. No trace of Mr Vance was found during a police and SES search.
The police investigation found Mr Vance is likely dead but could not determine whether he was murdered or died of misadventure in the forest.
The inquiry will investigate whether Mr Vance is dead and what happened to him. It will be held on August 3 and 4 in Dalby and August 7 in Brisbane.