CANBERRA, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- It is "unlikely" that an Irish man missing in Australia's outback since December will be found, police have admitted.
Paddy Moriarty, 70, was last seen on Dec. 16 at a hotel in Larrimah, 430 km south-east of Darwin.
Police have investigated his disappearance for almost two months but Northern Territory (NT) Police Detective Sergeant Matt Allen said on Saturday he believed the missing man is dead.
He said that despite an extensive search, police have not been able to find any family members of Moriarty in Australia or Ireland.
Prior to disappearing, Moriarty adhered to a strict daily routine, a fact police say make his disappearance suspicious.
"The physical evidence at the scene is completely undisturbed. So, the assessment is he's voluntarily left his residence. The bed was made, he had food on the table, he had dog food for his dog Kellie," Allen told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Saturday.
"He's a local and he always does the same thing - like attends the pub - when he walks his dog he walks the dog in the morning, and based on that we're treating it as a worst case scenario."
The last person to see Moriarty was a tourist who gave him a cooked chicken for the dog as Moriarty left town at dusk on Dec. 16.
Allen said that the wrapper for the chicken was found at Moriarty's house but that it was "unlikely" the missing man was alive.
"We conduct routine checks. We check banks, we check transport companies, we check Centrelink where he was on some sort of pension where he gets regular payments," he said.
"All those signs of life have been checked with unfortunately negative results. There is a remote possibility but I would say it's unlikely."
Police have dismissed suggestions that Moriarty was killed and fed to a large crocodile that lives out the back of the hotel he visited every day.
The biggest lead police have is a vehicle that was spotted in the area shortly after his disappearance that locals said they had never seen before - or since.
"We don't know what the link is with that vehicle. It could be nothing, but during the course of our investigation we speak to everybody that's travelled through Larrimah before, during the time of the disappearance, and afterwards," Allen said.
"(We are) trying to get a pattern of their movements, and that's one particular van amongst many that we are trying to identify who the driver is or the occupants."