COCAINE MYSTERY: Just what's happened to Markis Turner?
"I'M SO sorry".
Those were the last words accused cocaine trafficker Mackay businessman Markis Scott Turner said to his mother before he went missing, a court has heard.
Police want his mother, Elizabeth Turner, to pay almost half a million dollars that she promised to pay if her son did not turn up to court.
She says her son has suicided but the Crown says he's missing and there is no proof that he is dead.
A hearing was held in Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday where Mrs Turner gave a teary testimony about her son's depressed condition before he went missing.
Mr Turner has been accused of being involved in a multi-million dollar cocaine syndicate.
He was granted bail on the condition that his mother, Mrs Turner, offer $450,000 of surety.
Mr Turner's trial was due to start in late September last year.
Mrs Turner told the court she last saw her son on about August 13, before she was about to leave on a road trip to Western Australia with her husband.
"We were standing in the driveway and he was hugging me and I was shaking and he said 'I'm so sorry, I'm sorry' and that was it, (those were) the last words," she said.
Mrs Turner said she did not take her mobile phone with her on the road trip and that she occasionally used a pay phone to call one of her office workers, who was also a family friend, to check in.
The family friend informed her they could not find Mr Turner and that he may not have reported to police and Mrs Turner assumed he had suicided.
"I had a conversation with my husband and we both pulled up and had a cry on the side of the road and said 'He'd done it'," she told the court.
It was not until February this year - about six months after she last saw him - that Mrs Turner reported him missing.
The court also heard Mr Turner's wife and children had gone to Poland.
During Thursday's hearing, barrister Greg Lynham, representing the Crown, said it was extraordinary that Mrs Turner went on a three-week road trip on the other side of the country when her son's trial was weeks away.
He also said there were holes in the argument that Mr Turner was no longer alive.
Mr Lynham said Mr Turner knew he was facing a significant amount of time in jail because of the serious charge against him and that the only reasonable inference to draw from his disappearance "is that he simply disappeared to avoid facing the consequences of his conduct".
But Mrs Turner's barrister, Peter Davis QC, said evidence from Mr Turner's relatives and friends showed he was suicidal leading up to his disappearance.
He also said evidence of Mr Turner's death was strong because people around Mr Turner did not know what happened to him but knew he had had suicidal thoughts.
It is now up to the Supreme Court to decide whether Mrs Turner should pay the money. - ARM NEWSDESK