Mark Tromp has finally issued a statement – after flipping reporters the bird on Sunday – to apologise for his family's bizarre interstate road trip, which saw police resources mobilised across two Australian states.
"Without reservation, I apologise for the hurt and concern caused by these events," he said.
"More than anything, my family and I need time to recover and receive appropriate assistance, including mental health services."
Mark was found in northern Victoria on Saturday, five days after he was reported missing. His daughter Riana and wife, Jacoba, remain in hospital.
Last Monday, Mark and Jacoba and their three adult children, Riana, Mitchell, and Ella, left business papers, passports, bank cards, and phones scattered inside their unlocked house and embarked on an interstate road trip. One by one, each family member was arrested or hospitalised over the 1,500km drive.
Ella Tromp has been charged with theft of a motor vehicle and possessing the proceeds of a crime (the car) and will front court in April next year.
Riana Tromp was also charged with stealing a car but the charge was later dismissed under section 33 of the Mental Health Act of NSW, which excuses a mentally ill person from a crime.
"We will soon be reunited and together," Mark said. "I hope that we will begin to make sense of our ordeal and return to a normal life."
Those seeking help should call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Gina Rushton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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