Friends of dead hiker call for coronial inquest
FRIENDS of a deceased hiker recovered from Jourama Falls today have called for a coronial inquest into the delayed search.
Former Cairns-resident Shane Holian, 60, went missing in the Paluma Range National Park - he was presumed missing on December 3 but the search did not begin until six days later.
Twenty five-year friend of Mr Holian, Stratis Rozakeas, said there was "no doubt" that man recovered from the Falls was Mr Holian.
"It is one hundred per cent that it was Shane - at least this gives us closure."
He has called for a coronial inquest into the conduct of park rangers that lived 50m from where Mr Holian's van sat unattended for six days.
"If ranger procedures were detrimental to a prompt search and rescue mission, then this should be investigated," Mr Rozakeas said.
"If the ranger raised the alarm by Monday evening, then search and rescue could of started within 24 hours.
"I would want to see their daily log - what exactly were they doing for six days?"
He said Mr Holian was found downstream of Jourama Falls.
"He sent a couple of selfies from the falls - that was at 9.20am on December 2," Mr
"I imagine he slipped and fell; the rain would have swept him down stream.
"That's the logical conclusion."
He praised the efforts of police and SES volunteers who searched the park for Mr Holian.
"All their efforts were amazing- helicopters, drones, specialist teams and ground crew were impeccable," Mr Rozakeas said.
Townsville's Elena Tawora knew Mr Holian for 22 years and said he had planned his retirement trip - which included the Paluma Range hike - meticulously.
"That is the tragic thing about it - he was beginning his life work-free," Ms Tawora said.
"He was always in good spirits; for a 60-year-old was in really good shape.
She said she "just wanted answers" about the delayed rescue effort.
"What the hell was going on there between when he went missing and when the search began, she said.
A Queensland Police spokesman said a man's body was located at 10.30am within the national park.
"A report will be prepared for the Coroner," the spokesman said.