Flight attendant received 'abusive messages'

Martin Zavan, ninemsn
5:35am January 31, 2013
Friends and family are searching for Benjamin Roper.
Friends and family are searching for Benjamin Roper.

Missing Sydney man Ben Roper was reportedly the target of a series of threatening homophobic messages in the month before he disappeared.

The 32-year-old Virgin flight attendant was last seen at his apartment in Randwick, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, about 5pm (AEDT) on January 26.

On December 10, Mr Roper posted a message on Facebook talking "about someone sending him abusive and homophobic voicemails from a blocked number", a Facebook page set up to help find the Virgin employee revealed, The Daily Telegraph reports.

His mother Michelle Pippen said her son was very worried about the messages and his disappearance was out of character.

"It's just not like him to take off and not let anyone know but the messages were frightening him," she said.

"I feel maybe he's hiding somewhere to get away from things."

Friends were also concerned by a Facebook post on Mr Roper's account that said he had been suffering back pain and was "sick of it".

When he failed to turn up for work the next day his colleagues alerted police.

Inspector Leonard James said police are concerned that Mr Roper "may not be well at the moment."

"From what I understand, he was in a steady relationship. He appears to be a well-liked person who does his job well and that this is very much out of the ordinary for him," Insp James was quoted by as saying.

Yesterday comedian Julia Morris and ironwoman Candice Falzon helped spread the message about Mr Roper's disappearance on Twitter.

"A family friend of mine is missing in Sydney. Please look at this page & contact Maroubra Police if u know anything," said The Celebrity Apprentice star Morris, pointing to a Facebook page in one of three posts that have been retweeted hundreds of times.

In a post that was retweeted, Falzon wrote: "Please retweet in the hope of finding Ben. He has been missing since Saturday. Thanks."

Mr Roper is described as 180cm tall with a medium build and shaved brown hair. He also has some distinctive tattoos, including a flame design on his upper right arm and the numbers 2035 on his back.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Source: Daily Telegraph

Author: Martin Zavan, Approving editor: Mark Worley

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