A SUNRAYSIA man who had been reported missing has been found sleeping in his car after a night out at the Pooncarie Hotel.
Victoria Police launched an appeal for public assistance to help find Gavan Highdale on Sunday, after the 54-year-old was reported missing by family members.
He had been last seen at the Olympic Park Speedway about midday on Sunday, prompting Mildura police to search the speedway along with areas he frequented in Mildura and Irymple but to no avail.
Friends, family and community members took to social media to plead for his safe return and any information that could lead to his whereabouts.
Mildura police Senior Sergeant Daron Hulls said they were notified on Monday morning that a Pooncarie resident had spotted Mr Highdale in the carpark of the Pooncarie Hotel.
"It appears he decided to go to Pooncarie and did the responsible thing and stayed there Sunday night, not wanting to drive home intoxicated," Sen-Sgt Hulls said.
"We worked closely with NSW Police, and after receiving information that he had been seen in Pooncarie, officers found him driving home (Monday) morning.
"They spoke to him and he was fine. He said he had gone to the pub but did not want to risk driving home."
Sen-Sgt Hulls said the numerous and swift appeals made on social media helped ensure they had all available information which led to him being located.
"We often ask for help from the public; sometimes they may have information or have seen the person, which enables us to channel our search and efforts a lot easier," he said.