The Tromp Family Road Trip
In late August 2016, all 5 members of the Tromp family piled into the family car and drove away from their berry farm — and their successful business — without even a word to any friends or extended family. Along with their 3 children, Mark and Jacoba tromp left their cell phones, passports, and credit cards behind at their ranch and embarked on a trip off the grid. No one realized the family was missing at first, but it wasn’t long before the family of five each broke apart by themselves, their erratic behavior finally drawing attention to the situation at hand. In fact, each person turned back up to their home in Silvan, Australia, one by one, separately, and without a clue of what just occurred or why. It took 6 days for police to track down all 5 members and reunite the family in yet another case of the rare delusion called, folie a deux.
When your parents say go, you go. That’s exactly what Mitchell, Riana, and Ella Tromp did when their father Mark said they were in danger. They drove away from their successful red currant farm in the family station wagon in an abrupt excursion on August 29th, 2016. This family would be considered a tight knit group, in fact 2 of the 3 kids still lived at home with their parents, and they all still worked on the family farm. When they left Silvan, Australia, they headed nearly a thousand miles (1500 kilometers) across Australia.
When the family of five piled into Ella’s grey Peugeot SUV on the morning of Monday, August 29, no alarm bells were raised, nor should they have been. There’s nothing wrong with going on a family vacation in the vast, beautiful country of Australia. But what was unusual, was that they left the house unlocked, cell phones, passports, and credit cards left sitting on the kitchen table, and car keys in the ignition of their other vehicles. Not to mention business paperwork stacked in piles around the house, in a manner that implies something was being looked for. One can only assume that by leaving behind those personal items, the family didn’t want to be followed.
But Mitchell seemed to realize from the start that the family was acting delusional, and he knew that his phone would be the last lifeline to civilization if things were to go south, so he brought his. When his…