‘Foul play’: no charges yet over missing Colombian man

Callum Godde and William Ton |

Sergio Cuesta disappeared in September 2023 after he was dropped off by a friend near Melbourne.
Sergio Cuesta disappeared in September 2023 after he was dropped off by a friend near Melbourne.

A Melbourne man has been released without charge over the suspicious disappearance and suspected death of a Colombian national.

Sergio Cuesta disappeared more than four months ago after he was dropped off by a friend at a Jabiru Drive address in Chelsea Heights, 30km southeast of Melbourne.

The 28-year-old Colombian national had earlier been at a birthday dinner in the Melbourne CBD on the night of September 16.

A concerned female friend, who was also at the dinner, alerted authorities after failing to hear from him for five days.

A 49-year-old Mount Eliza man and a 48-year-old Cranbourne man were arrested on Tuesday over his disappearance and interviewed.

Police on Wednesday confirmed the Cranbourne man has been released pending further inquiries, while the Mount Eliza man remains in custody.

Mr Cuesta regularly spoke to his family back home in Colombia and police consider his disappearance completely out of character.

“He did travel to Queensland a couple of weeks before his disappearance but we’re unsure what his movements are prior to his disappearance,” Missing Persons Squad Detective Inspector David Dunstan said.

“Sadly, we do believe at this time that he has met with foul play and is no longer alive.”

Mr Cuesta had been living in an apartment on Queens Road on an expired student visa before he vanished.

Investigators have spoken to some of Mr Cuesta’s friends in Melbourne, several involved in drug trafficking, but have received varying accounts of the Colombian’s final movements.

Det Insp Dunstan has appealed to the public, especially those in the Colombian community, for information about Mr Cuesta’s current whereabouts or why he went to Chelsea Heights.