Australian father searches South Island for children who went missing two years ago

Serena and Thomas are now aged 8 and 7. This picture was taken two years ago.
SUPPLIED

Serena and Thomas are now aged 8 and 7. This picture was taken two years ago.

An Australian father who hasn't seen his children for more than two years believes their mother may have brought them to the South Island.

Harry Speath last saw his children in December, 2014. Australian police have confirmed they are looking to "recover" the children, although the Australian Family Court says the children are most likely living in southeast Queensland.

The last time Speath saw his children they clung onto him as his divorced wife, Jane Adare, arrived at 5pm to take them away. They were in tears and kept telling him they didn't want to leave, he says. But he told them, "everything's going to be alright". He thought they would talk again on Monday, as per the custody agreement.

Harry Speath believes his children may be somewhere in the South Island, he hasn't seen them for two and a half years.
SUPPLIED

Harry Speath believes his children may be somewhere in the South Island, he hasn't seen them for two and a half years.

Speath will never forget that day, December 5, 2014. It was a Friday, and his then 6-year-old daughter, Serena Lucia Speath, did everything she could to avoid going to school. Her 5-year-old brother, Thomas Michael Speath, also claimed to be sick.

READ MORE:
Family want 6-year-old Que Langdon returned to NZ immediately
Mind games, a custody battle, and a broken rudder: the full Alan Langdon story
Without a trace: New Zealand's most enduring missing persons cases

"When it came pick up time, my ex-wife arrived, rang the doorbell, and Thomas broke down. He was absolutely howling and I didn't understand why. He wouldn't let go of me, he was hanging on for grim death," Speath recalls.

Serena and Thomas Speath have been missing since December 2014.
SUPPLIED

Serena and Thomas Speath have been missing since December 2014.

 The 60-year-old father hasn't given up looking for his children. Following Alan Langdon's January escape to Australia, with his daughter Que Langdon, Speath decided to investigate the possibility that his ex-wife may have also sailed across the Tasman.

Speath has enlisted the help of child recovery expert Col Chapman, an Australian man who helped track down Langdon.

The father also travelled to London, England, knowing his ex-wife has a British passport. After the disappearance, he searched for them in Brazil because Adare's mother, who she was living with in 2014, had visited the South American nation, he says. Speath suspects Adare's family know where they are.

The father is due to arrive in Christchurch on Friday afternoon to begin a South Island search for his children. He and Chapman suspect the mother is most likely living in Christchurch or a similarly Anglo-town. Speath describes her as an "Anglophile" because of her interests in European architecture and familiarity with the culture.

Ad Feedback

He also says Adare had friends from New Zealand and believes she has connections in Christchurch. She is a trained nurse, he says.

Her father was a skilled boatman and close with his daughter, Speath says. After Speath last saw Adare, her family travelled north to Bundaberg, "the only thing that is in Bundaberg is a port," he says.

The former husband of Jane Adare believes she may have taken their children to New Zealand. He hasn't heard from them in ...
SUPPLIED

The former husband of Jane Adare believes she may have taken their children to New Zealand. He hasn't heard from them in almost two and a half years.

New Zealand Police are unaware of the case. A police spokeswoman said Interpol had not alerted them.

Australian police have not verified Speath's belief that his ex-wife's family know where she is.

A spokesman for the Australian Federal Police said an active search was under way for the mother, and Australian police were authorised to remove Thomas and Serena from her care. He urged anyone with information about the children to contact Australian police.

A search was launched on February 17, 2015, after the children had not been heard from since December 5, he said.

Speath claims Australian police told him his children may have left the country, despite them not having passports.

Speath says he was a good husband and father. He says he was working part time when his children were young, "I changed thousands of nappies, cleaned, did anything and everything I possibly could".

Speath is determined to find his children. SUPPLIED

He sees no reason for Adare's disappearance with his two children. In October 2014, less than two months before the disappearance, the pair divorced. Adare received AU$350,000 in settlement, Speath says he paid it in four weeks. He says Adare had no interest in their relationship.

If someone knows where his children are, Speath asks that they tell them "that their daddy loves them, and that I haven't forgotten them".

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

$1m taken from mum's accounts

Stephen Jackson sold his mother's home while she was writing a will sharing it equally between her children, the High ...

Auckland man sold his parents' house and took hundreds of thousands from his ailing mother's bank account.

Dog rescued from cliff

The rescued dog with its owner and a member of the rescue team.

Auckland firefighters rescued a marooned dog by abseiling down a cliff with harnesses.

Changing world, changing politics

Massey University associate professor Grant Duncan said economic and technological changes are having a flow-on effect ...

An upcoming lecture at Massey University explores trust and distrust in a changing political landscape.

Auckland airport in the clear video

This isn't the first time this week that fog has grounded planes in Auckland.

Over 80 flights had been cancelled or delayed as fog hit the city's airport.

Wellington

Finding a home for stories

Brucey Downs, 27, is one of the many Kiwis affected by homelessness.

"Being homeless is a roller coaster that goes up and down, it's complicated that way."

Shot theory no joke

Jim Morton lost his left eye, on the right of this photo as you look at it, in a shooting incident. A Fish and Game ...

All hunters should start wearing safety glasses, says man who claims shot can ricochet off of ducks.

A market for drugs

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne's dramatically changed his views on drug policy over the past eight years.

Government minister says legalisation of cannabis is the 'logical way forward'.

Champion of science

Dave Hansford wrote a book about the pest poison 1080 because "someone had to".

"A great deal of anti-1080 sentiment isn't about 1080," says author.

Canterbury

How's this for a bachelor pad?

The Carlton Butchery penthouse by MAP Architects 26.5.17

Luxurious Christchurch 'bachelor pad' in The Carlton Butchery wins major award.

Consent $63 per year

Blair Colligan plans to bottle water alongside the Waimangaroa River in Buller.

There may soon be signs of life in a dormant, West Coast town: a water bottling plant.

Alleged grope on flight

Police arrested a man at Christchurch Airport after the alleged incident. (FIle photo)

Passenger arrested after allegedly assaulting a woman on Jetstar flight.

Man killed in crash

The cause of the crash is not yet known.

A 26-year-old man is dead and another seriously injured after crashing into a house in Christchurch.

Waikato

Rubber duckies on the loose

Hundreds of rubber ducks are dumped into the water.

Hamilton's lake meets a different type of bird life.

Suspicious blaze at caryard

The Fire Service received a call about the blaze at 3.10pm. Two crews from Waipa attended the scene, plus two trucks ...

At least one person has suffered burns in the Te Awamutu blaze.

Canoe racing home

Canoe Racing CEO Mark Weatherall

Canoe racing high performance athletes will transition to their new headquarters in Cambridge starting pre-Christmas.

Sevens skeptics won't quit

Public reaction to the news that the Sevens are moving to Hamilton has been largely positive. But not everybody's cheering.

Official assurances only go so far with twitchy ratepayers haunted by Hamilton's V8 debacle.

Taranaki

Sale from beyond the grave

The Tariki Hall committee members want to sell the hall and give the proceeds to charity because the income doesn't meet ...

To sell this rural hall, permission was needed from the original trustees - who have long been dead.

Winery trial to come

In times past Tim Finn, Bic Runga, Dave Dobbyn  performed at the Sentry Hill Winery.

The liquidation saga of Sentry Hill Winery is heading to trial.

Goons make it two

Suburban Goons were winners of the best band in the Taranaki regional final of Smokefreerockquest for the second time ...

They won last year and now the Suburban Goons have done it again.

Sacrificing your self 

A longing for relationships is hard wired into our DNA.

OPINION: To be in community we need to sacrifice some measure of individual right and freedom.

Manawatu

Lifetime of work destroyed

John Bramley, with his dog Moose, lost 50 years worth of woodturning work and equipment in a shed fire at his Palmerston ...

It was a shed holding half a century of his life. It was gone in minutes.

Three car pile-up

Police were called to a minor car crash at George St on Saturday.

A person is in hospital after three-car pile-up at a busy Palmerston North street.

Shot theory no joke

Jim Morton lost his left eye, on the right of this photo as you look at it, in a shooting incident. A Fish and Game ...

All hunters should start wearing safety glasses, says man who claims shot can ricochet off of ducks.

Fed up in Foxton

Flooding on Wednesday morning, at the Blue Bell motel on SH1 in Foxton.

Frustrated residents say Foxton's stormwater system can't cope, after repeated floods.

Nelson

Protesting for right to protest

Lewis Staton aka Hone Ma Heke at the protest at the 1903 Square during Saturday's protest, having recently been released ...

Former prime minister calls on the city council to with withdraw a draft bylaw that would require a permit to protest.

Fatal crash near Mot

Motueka Volunteer Fire Brigade volunteers divert traffic on the Coastal Highway after a fatal car crash.

A person has died and another is seriously injured in a two-vehicle crash near Motueka.

What now for Tom?

Thomas Lay is being evicted from  Bridge Street Backpackers and is looking for a new place to live.

Thomas Lay is worried. A Nelson backpackers - his home of seven years - has been forced to sell up.

'Cowboy poachers' under spotlight

Bryce Buckland saw six of the runaway deer at Marsden Valley Cemetery last month. Three men face prosecution after ...

Three men who shot at deer from a car in a residential area could face hefty charges.

Marlborough

'Gentle giant' mourned after rugby death video

Bevan Moody died after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Waitohi last weekend.

Bevan Moody, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Waitohi, remembered as a young family man with a quick wit.

Oldest Facebooker?

Jean Leslie, 99, uses Facebook to connect with relatives like her granddaughter Melissa Tripe.

Even with just 62 'friends', this 99-year-old still gets fed up with some of the stuff other people 'like'.

'Armed and dangerous' man sought

Michael John Hughes, 36, is considered armed and dangerous.

Police looking for a man believed to be armed and dangerous after he allegedly committed offences across the South Island.

The recycle of life

The majority of recycled glass in Marlborough stays in New Zealand.

From kerbside to dockside; the journey of Marlborough's recycling.

South Canterbury

Rural location no barrier video

Kate Ivey juggles her expanding business with caring for her three children and helping run the family farm.

Mother of three says living in the 'middle of nowhere' is no barrier to business success.

'Out of character'

Timaru police are looking for 53-year-old Murray Wall, missing since Thursday.

The disappearance of a Timaru man is "completely out of character", police say.

Guilty of manslaughter

Timaru Court.

Kooly Managki Te Tomo found guilty of the manslaughter of Arran Gairns.

Accommodation boost

Finance Minister Steven Joyce announced his first Budget on Thursday.

The Government has recognised parts of SC have become more expensive.

Southland

Your chance to cast a vote

Cyclist Eddie Dawkins.

Your chance to have your say for the 2016/2017 Southland Sports Awards.

Busman's holiday gets beached video

Jeff Leeden got his 1964 VAL Bedford bus, Chubby Cheeks, stuck in the sand on Oreti Beach.

Aussies thought they'd take their housebus for a jaunt on the sands. This was nearly its final stop.

Health professionals unhappy

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Ian Powell.

A medical union has accused the Government of "continued neglect" with its annual health budget announcement on Thursday.

Council's 'Gypsy Day' u-turn

Cows are moved, near Rakaia.

It's deemed too offensive so a new name for sharemilkers moving cows to farms is needed.

Ad Feedback