THIS Sunday, October 21, the city of Bathurst will be asked to leave a light on in memory of missing people across Australia.
It's a particularly hard time for Sue Wallace and Bruce Herbert, parents of missing Bathurst man Andrew Russell.
Leave a Light On, an organisation which aims to raise awareness of missing people cold cases in Australia, asks everyone, no matter where they live, to leave on a front porch light, an indoor light or burn a candle in memory of missing people each year.
Families are also invited to Melbourne that weekend to meet with the families of other missing people, attend talks and speak about their experiences.
Bathurst has three unsolved missing person cases: Jessica Small, Janine Vaughan and Andrew Russell.
Ms Small was abducted from Kelso in the early hours of October 1997; Ms Vaughan seemingly vanished after getting into a car in December 2001; and Mr Russell was last seen alive after leaving a William Street newsagency in June 2009.
Ms Wallace and Mr Herbert said while they would not be able to make it to Melbourne, the Leave a Light On organisation does a great job supporting families.
Just this week, the organisation featured Mr Russell – who would have been 33 on October 11 - in an online campaign.
Ms Wallace, who is Mr Russell’s stepmother, said this time of year is always difficult, and the family still hold out hope that the $750,000 reward offered by NSW Police earlier this year for information leading to the recovery of Mr Russell’s remains will be enough to flush out those responsible for his death.
Mr Russell was last seen on June 2, 2009 when he was captured on CCTV footage leaving a William Street newsagency. It was his father’s birthday and he was buying him a card.
Mr Russell was reported missing to Bathurst Police on June 20, 2009, when he failed to make contact with his family, which was uncharacteristic for him. He has not accessed his bank account since he disappeared.
The stress of the past few years has taken a toll on the family - not only emotionally, but physically, as Mr Herbert’s health has declined rapidly.
"Bruce has felt it very much," said Ms Wallace, who is now Mr Herbert's carer.
"When he sees people around town, he's thinking, 'what do you know about my son?'. We're running around with bloody murderers, the people who murdered our son.”
Although the family ultimately want justice, their first priority is finding Mr Russell's remains.