There has been a major breakthrough in the search for a missing father who was last seen leaving his Victorian home 11 years ago.
Sanie Gillette and one of her sons claim they saw Russell Jenkin walking towards them in a Sunshine Coast car park last summer.
Police are now renewing their appeal for information on Mr Jenkin, who was last seen previously more than a decade agao at the home he shared with Ms Gillette in suburban Melbourne.
The pair had a fight in September, 2006 that led him to walk out of the family home and drive away, leaving his two sons behind - then aged two and four.
Russell Jenkin, would now be 47 years old. Source: Victoria Police
The silver Toyota Yaris he drove that night was found the following day on September 23, 2006 about 40 kilometres away at the Lara football ground.
However, on a trip to Queensland this year Ethan, now aged 15, spotted Mr Jenkin inside a shopping centre car park.
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Ms Gillette told the Sydney Morning Herald she felt "numb".
"It was a bit numbing ... realising it was him. We could have approached him, but he could have approached us," she said.
Sanie Gillette and one of her sons claim they saw Russell Jenkin in this car park.
Ethan and his 12-year-old brother Charlie had little time to get to know their father but Ethan was certain it was him in the car park on January 27.
"He looked up the missing person's poster and he was 100 per cent positive," Ms Gillette said.
"There's no reason for him to be there. He may have been passing through, but it was definitely Russell."
Ms Gillette said she hopes, if it was him, that he lets the authorities know that he is alive.
"I've never been in another relationship, so the boys have never had that male figure, but in saying that they've turned out very good, they're good boys," she said.
Mr Jenkin is described as Caucasian and about 175cm tall with a medium build, short brown hair and hazel eyes.
He was seen wearing a maroon T-shirt and blue shorts.
Wyndham Detective Sergeant Dennis Williams said "it's not a crime to go missing" and they just want to know if he is alright.
Anyone who sights Mr Jenkin is urged to contact Wyndham Crime Investigation Unit on 9742 9439.