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New True Crime Podcast Seeks To Discover What Happened To Missing 18-Year-Old Zac

By Christina Cavaleri November 13, 2019

"For him to disappear without a trace, how does that happen?"

True Crime podcasts seem to have taken over the world. 

Sure, we love a movie based on a real life case, but that Hollywood spin can get pretty same-same. But nothing beats true, real life drama.

Podcasts give listeners a chance to go even deeper on cases and form their own opinions and theories about what happened. 

When there are over 38,000 missing persons reports submitted to police in Australia every year, it's hard to understand what happens to them all, and how their families cope.

Zac Barnes is just one of these stories. Zac went missing at the age of 18 three years ago, and his family are still no closer to finding out what happened to him.

The first episode of What Happened To Zac? starts with a heartbreaking statement from Zac's mum, Karen Barnes:

"Zac's the first thing I think of in the morning when I wake up and he's the last thing I think of at night. For him to disappear without a trace, how does that happen?"

Karen recalls that weekend in November 2016 vividly. From the last thing she said to her son to the fact that she didn't get a chance to hug him one last time. 

It was just a normal Friday when Karen dropped Zac off to work where he was an apprentice bricklayer. After work, he went to a friend's house for the weekend and then... well, no one knows. The story that was widely reported says that Zac run from a car toward the bush in a distressted state. The two young men also in the car were the last to see Zac. They claim they were driving through Thornton, in Newcastle, when he suddenly panicked and jumped out of the car on the corner of Tripp Close and Haussman Drive, before running into bushland nearby. However, Karen does not believe this story.

Throughout the four part series Karen takes host Jay through Zac's childhood, family life, birthdays and various locations like to an old quarry.

"I imagined in my mind that he could've been running along here... and either slipped and fallen into the quarry, or... fell down a ledge or, and this is why we were looking down here. I've spent many nights and afternoons just sitting out here, thinking and looking and contemplating."

Zac's brother Cody also opens up about his experience with his brother's disappearance:

"Closest human I'll ever be with, in me entire life. I know that. You know what I mean? It was that sort of relationship. I knew that then."

Stories from friends remembering the last time they saw Zac are also revealed. 

To listen and find more about What Happened To Zac? Listen on iTunesSpotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

If you have information that could help police, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Image: Facebook and Getty Images