In late August of 2016, the Tromp family of Silvan, Australia, abandoned the family berry farm and successful earth-moving business and went off the grid, albeit briefly. The members of the family left their cell phones, passports, and credit cards behind with no explanation or warning that they were leaving town. The family of five drove north.
Why did the Tromp family leave behind all their possessions? And why would they put on such a bizarre act with everyone they came across? Even after the family returned home after nearly a week, there were no answers. The media and amateur sleuths have speculated about possible reasons, but the speculation remains just that, and the family's temporary exodus remains an enigma.
Riana And Ella Stole A Car And Reported Mark And Jacoba Missing
No one knew the family was missing until Riana and Ella Tromp cut away from their parents while at the Jenolan Caves, a popular tourist destination. The two sisters took possession of a car and drove to Goulburn, about two hours south of their departure point.
Once they arrived, the girls reported their parents missing, a call that sent the country's authorities on a scramble to find the couple. After regrouping at home, Mitchell and Ella spoke to the press about their parents' odd behavior, saying they had never acted this way before - but insisting they weren't dangerous.
Riana Stowed Away In A Pickup Truck And Was Later Found Catatonic
After Ella and Riana escaped to Goulborn, they went their separate ways. Ella drove the rest of the way home, while Riana - still apparently suffering from some form of psychosis - slipped into the back of a truck.
The driver didn't realize Riana was hiding in his truck bed until he'd been on the road for about an hour. When he tried to speak to her, she was in a catatonic state and claimed she didn't know who or where she was. It was only after she was taken to a psychiatric hospital that she was identified as Riana Tromp.
Ella Was Charged With Taking A Car
Ella took a car in Goulburnhad, allowing her to make it back home before the rest of her siblings. After her arrival, Mitchell got back as well, having hopped a few trains.
The police were already waiting for the siblings. Ella was charged with taking the vehicle while the police continued their search for the parents. However, under Section 33 of the Mental Health Act of New South Wales, the charges were later dropped.
After Jacoba Headed North, Mark Broke Into A Hotel Room Before Escaping To The Woods
Once their children parted ways, the parents didn't stick together for long. While Jacoba tried to take a bus back home, Mark continued his streak of unsettling behavior.
He began tailgating a young couple, who eventually stopped their car. Mark responded by getting out of his vehicle, but after standing in the middle of the road and staring at the couple for a brief time, he suddenly ran into the woods.
Following his disappearance, Mark was connected with break-ins at Millers Cottage, a hotel in Wangaratta, and the Milawa General Store. Nothing was taken or damaged, so the Wangaratta authorities didn't press charges.