Most people don’t expect a loved one to walk out the door and turn up missing. This is something that you hear about in the news from time to time, but you never think that it is going to happen. When someone does go missing, their family and their community are shattered and devastated, just waiting for word on their whereabouts, whether good or bad. This is something that Gabriel Nagy’s family experienced first hand.
Gabriel wasn’t raised in the greatest environment; however, this didn’t stop him from becoming a devoted husband and father of two. He loved his family, and they had great respect for him. He lived in Sydney, Australia with his wife, Pamela, his son, Stephen, and his daughter, Jennifer. He first moved to Australia with his parents when he was a boy, and decided that it would be a great place to raise his family.
A Comfortable Living
Gabriel had a good job working as a shopfitter. It was his job to help companies build retail spaces around Sydney. He loved his job, but he wanted to be an accountant. He started taking classes to achieve this goal. He worked during the day and took classes at night. He was determined to realize his dream.
In 1987, Gabriel went out to run errands. While he was out, he called Pamela and told her that he was going to be going home for lunch. Pamela hung up the phone and started making lunch for her husband so that it would be ready when he got home. She sat and waited for him for hours, and he never returned. At first, she was confused. He had just called, so why was he so late? As time passed, she started to panic. She really began to panic when she got a phone call from the police telling her that they had found the burned-out shell of his car on the side of the road. They couldn’t find Gabriel anywhere.
Pamela and her kids were sick with worry. They started hanging missing posters all over Sydney. They were hoping that someone had seen something and new what happened to Gabriel after the accident. His daughter Jennifer was especially disturbed by her father’s disappearance. She didn’t think that her father would ever pick up and leave the family that he loved so much. When the police got involved, they let Pamela know that they had a break in the case. For a short time, Gabriel’s family had hope.
During their investigation, the police discovered that Gabriel had withdrawn money from a bank in Newcastle, which was 100 miles away from Sydney. Pamela and the kids didn’t have an explanation for this, but they hoped that the lead would bring Gabriel home. Sadly, this lead went nowhere, and the family still had no idea what happened to Gabriel.
Georgia Robinson was the senior constable assigned to the case. She promised herself that she was going to figure out what happened to Gabriel, but each time, she came up empty-handed. She didn’t want to give up, not for herself, and not for Gabriel’s family. Unfortunately, she couldn’t keep using resources on a case that had long since gone cold. She decided that it was time to declare Gabriel dead, so she went through her files to get everything in order. It was then that she saw something that stopped her in her tracks.
She found an Australian Medicare document that stated that a man named Gabriel Nagy, who also went by the name, Ron Saunders, underwent eye surgery recently. The man lived in Mackay, which was about 1,000 miles away from the place that Gabriel went missing. Georgia got his phone number and gave him a call. She got the man on the phone, and he told her that the last two decades of his life had been a bit foggy. He told her that for most of the time, he was homeless, wandering from city to city. When they got off the phone, Georgia headed to Mackay.
When Georgia arrived in Mackay, she found Gabriel. He had no idea what she was talking about when she mentioned his family. She showed him pictures, and little by little, his memory started coming back. It turned out that when Gabriel got into the car accident, he had a severe head injury. This put him into a fugue state, which caused him to forget his entire life. With no memory, he wandered the country, not knowing who he was. He came up with the name Ron Saunders because he saw a sign for Queensland’s Saunders Beach while in his haze. A pastor named Barry Hayhoe met Gabriel and allowed him to volunteer at the church, and soon, he was hired as the caretaker.
After Georgia told Gabriel about the family that he had left behind, he wrote a seven-page letter to them. A couple of days later, Jennifer sent him a text that said, “Hi dad.” Gabriel spoke to Pamela on the phone for hours, and Jennifer greeted him at the airport with flowers when he came to visit. Since he still didn’t remember his life before or his family, he couldn’t move back in with them. He did vow to keep in touch, but that was all that he could do at the time. This man vanishes into thin air before his family gets a strange message 23 years later. This story is remarkable.