Marcus Gormley.
Marcus Gormley. Submitted

Dairyville mystery solved

MARCUS John Gormley was a big man in many ways.

As his family comes to terms with the fact they may never know how he died in the Orara Valley forests he loved, they remember his generosity, kindness, gentleness and his cheerful spirit.

The 36-year-old Coffs Harbour resident had been missing for eight weeks before his body was identified by DNA testing this week following the discovery of the lower half of a man’s body at Wayper Creek near Dairyville last month.

His family suspected he was camping somewhere in Bindarri National Park, a favourite bush retreat for the fit bush walker and cyclist and they been helping police with the search.

Marcus’s optimism was the more remarkable because he had to contend with a heavy burden of medication and hospitalisation.

He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1993 and some years later also with bipolar disorder.
Born and educated in Coffs Harbour, the youngest of four siblings, he remained close to his family and enjoyed family dinners and events as well as music and the many TAFE courses he enrolled in.

His mother Delia Gormley said he displayed both courage and strength of will in dealing with his challenging health problems.

“He had the most positive outlook for someone who had so much to deal with,” Mrs Gormley said..

“If he knew someone was in hospital, he would visit them, because he knew how lonely it could be.

“He was so generous – he was always lending money to people and most of the time he did not get it back.

“I once asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he said ‘a bull...t detector’. ”

The disability pensioner also supported at least two overseas orphans through charity organisations; made regular donations to Greenpeace and often provided emergency accommodation in his flat for homeless people.

“He did not have a lot, but he shared whatever he had,” his mother said.

Marcus John Gormley’s funeral will be held at 1.30pm on December 9, at St Augustine’s Catholic Church, in Coffs Harbour.

Coffs/Clarence local area commander, Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay, who released Mr Gormley’s name publicly yesterday, said Marcus Gormley was a frequent visitor to the area and enjoyed camping there.

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