Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but there was always something a little off about the mystery man who reported his twin brother missing on a remote Far South Coast beach last week.
The plot is like something from the script of a feature film.
As the search for his twin entered day two, the man was at the beach. Word was he did not want to talk with the media and as he walked from where the police were stationed to his vehicle he took a moment to look up and give me a quick nod and a smile.
He was dressed much like many tourists to the coast. He got in his car and drove away. I was going to take a photograph as he walked to the car, but paused as I thought there would be many more opportunities to capture his story. As far as everyone knew, his twin brother was missing.
I remember wondering why the man was not also out looking for his brother, although he may not have been in the right state of mind. Something didn't feel right and I shared my thoughts with other journalists on the scene. One also mentioned they would be out looking if it were their brother missing.
Due to the nature of the investigation local detectives could not talk. The man sat briefly on the beach watching the frantic search for his missing brother. From a distance he looked distraught, with his heads in his hands. With the power of hindsight it may have all been an act, or the immensity of the lie he was telling was sinking in.
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The trope is commonly known as the Fake Twin Gambit, which is often used by superheroes to hide their true identity from the public. As far as we know, he has also managed to evade police even after faking his own death.
Little is publicly known about the 42-year-old from Victoria, other than he is facing allegations of fraud in his home state, and is now wanted by both Victoria and NSW Police.
The mystery man had on Wednesday told police his twin brother had disappeared after going for a swim at Gillards Beach while he had been visiting Tathra.
Three days and endless emergency services hours later police estimated the search efforts as costing upwards of a million dollars.
He must've been thinking if he could convince authorities he was missing and presumed drowned at sea, he would be able to get away scot-free.