“Matthew if you are out there and you read this please remember that as your mother you are never out of my mind. You are in my heart and I live with you everyday. The longer I look for you the more I love you. Your daddy, your brother and your sister are always longing to see you and supporting me to look for you every day. We are always looking for you. Please let me know if you are okay, because not knowing is killing me inside,” says Michelle Ohlsson while fighting back her tears.

About 23 years ago, nine-year-old Matthew Ohlsson disappeared without a trace from his front yard. No matter how many years have passed his mother Michelle and his family refuse to give up their search for him.

He disappeared without a trace on March, 24 1997 when he went outside to bring the bins into the yard in Delheim Close.

“It was school holidays and I was planning to take the kids away on holiday, unfortunately it didn’t work out. He went outside to get the dustbins and he just vanished. He was just nowhere to be found, gone until today,” says Michelle.

Even when the police gave up searching, the family never stopped and to this day they are constantly trying to find the missing piece of their family.

“We are constantly searching. We’ve made thousands of posters, our house has been filled with people helping us look. When the police gave up looking I kept looking with private investigators and it got me nowhere. People ask me why don’t I stop looking and give up, but I just can’t. I can’t rest, there is no peace without an answer. I need peace of mind,” she said.

Even with her friends telling her to give up, Matthew’s mother says she will never stop until she knows what happened to her son.

“I believe he is still out there and if he wants to come home it is his choice. He’s been gone for 23 years and believing he will just come home may be wishful thinking.”

A cake baked in honour and memory of Matthew.

“I believe it is only God that is keeping me alive and seeing my other children grow up keeps me motivated. I am positive that I will see him one day. I didn’t bury him, I will never have peace of mind until I know what happened to him. My faith is keeping me positive,” she added.

Michelle continues to put up posters and send out social media posts to circulate his picture in the hope that someone recognises him. Anyone with information about him can email [email protected] [email protected]

“He may look very different now but he has a small heart-shaped birthmark on the left side of his chest,” says Ohlsson.

What Matthew might look like today.

To assist other families in need, Michelle and and husband Michael started an organisation called Concerned Parents of Missing Children in 1999. So far they have helped find over 200 children who were reported missing. 

The story of the Ohlsson family is one of true love that never ends and cannot be defeated no matter how many years pass, Matthew Ohlsson may not be with his family anymore but he will always be in their hearts and on their minds.

Pictures: Facebook

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.