The man who discovered the last trace of missing prospector Michael Keith Graham will forever wonder what could have been.
Nathan North was making a routine mill-run with his grandfather, Riverina Station owner Don North, when they stumbled upon an SOS hacked in the dirt and a pair of discarded green underpants.
Police had been about to scale down the search for the NSW tourist, but now it was re-doubled with bush trackers, extra aircraft and a renewed sense of hope.
But one week later, this vital contribution has been no consolation for Mr North. He simply regrets he did not check the bore before Tuesday.
“I was supposed to go through Saturday,” he said. “But we had rain and so the mills weren’t checked as regular.”
Police believe Mr Graham was taking respite under the tin roof for several days up to Monday.