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CASE NOW SOLVED – Message Asks For Help to Identify Man Killed By Train in Melbourne

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on September 12, 2013

A message that has circulated widely via social media for several years asks for help identifying a young man killed by a train in Melbourne, Australia in September, 2012. 

The message circulates as a graphic featuring an image of the man and the plea for help digitally added to a photograph of a gravestone. The message suggests that the man may have been a backpacker from Europe. It asks that users share and like to help spread the word.

The message was valid when it first began circulating. But, thankfully, the young man has since been identified as a 22-year-old Swedish national and his remains have been returned to his home country.

An October 8, 2012 article in The Age, outlined the case:

Backpackers and hostel owners could hold the key to identifying a young man, possibly an international traveller, who was hit by a train and killed in Melbourne’s east last month.

More than three weeks after the man, believed to be in his early 20s, died near East Camberwell railway station, police are no closer to establishing his identity and no one has come forward to report him missing.Senior Constable Leah Bound said the man was believed to have stepped out of an alcove near the railway station at 11am on September 14 into the path of an oncoming train and was killed. Police say his death is not suspicious.

Despite extensive searches, police have been unable to match his description with any missing persons cases in Victoria.

The man carried no identification in his wallet,…..

The man’s identity remained unconfirmed for several months. An ongoing social media campaign to solve the case was launched, and police issued two public appeals for information.  

Finally, after the case was reported in Sweden, the man’s family contacted police. A January 23 2013 follow-up report in The Age noted:

Police confirmed the identity of the 22-year-old Swedish national through DNA technology and his remains were repatriated, a spokesman said.
The man’s death is not being treated as suspicious.The spokesman said investigators wanted to thank the public and the media for their help in solving the case.

Thus, it is no longer necessary to share the message.

An example of the circulating message:

This lad was killed in austraila in sept. Share so he can be taken home

Plea to help identify man killed by train
Somebody must know me
Killed by train Melbourne Australia

In September 2012
May be a backpacker from Europe.
Share and Like to help find my family

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,