real life

'Two years ago, my Mum stepped out of an Uber. It was the last time anyone saw her.'

Today is Anna Jenkins’ birthday.

She should be celebrating her 68th at home in Adelaide with her two kids, her husband and her grandchildren.

If she was home in Gleneg, she’d get a few presents from loved ones, and her son Greg and daughter Jen would try to make her dinner. Try being the key word.

You see, Anna’d probably end up cooking it herself, even though it’s her day. It’s just how she prefers it.

WATCH: Anna’s daughter Jen is desperate for answers. Post continues after video.

Video by Jen Bowen

They’d probably also try to give her flowers.

But it’s highly likely she’d go and gift them to someone ‘who needs them more’ at the local homeless shelter.

It’s who she is. Anna would do anything for anyone, and yet Australia has done nothing for her.

She has been missing for more than two years now, after vanishing on the 13th December 2017, in Malaysia.

JEN-and-ANNA
Anna Jenkins (left) and her daughter Jen Bowen (right) in one of her many media appearances over the last two years as the family searches desperately. Image: Nine.
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In the 785 days since, her family have travelled back over there 15 times, driven 60,000km, and distributed 11,000 posters in a desperate bid to find their mum.

They've found nothing.

The day Anna vanished.

Anna went home to Malaysia regularly.

She's been an Australian citizen for 37 years, but her extended family still live in the southeast Asian country. She met her husband Frank in the 70s when he was in the airforce and together they built a life together in South Australia. They'd been happily married for 40 years.

In December 2017, Anna and Frank travelled over to see her dying mother in Penang.

Anna Jenkins mother
Greg with his grandma, Anna's mother, who died in 2018 with no answers. Image: Supplied.

On the 13th, she set off in a taxi to visit the local dentist.

After her appointment she hopped in an Uber, with the intention of heading over to her mum's nursing home. But she asked the driver to stop about four kilometres before the care home.

It was about 5pm, and she was dropped outside an orphanage.

She hasn't been seen or heard from since.

anna Jenkins
This is the last image taken of Anna Jenkins on 13th December 2017. Image: Supplied.
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They don't know if she's alive or dead, and they don't know anything about what happened once she exited that Uber.

As Frank's health declines and the years pass by, Jen and Greg are only becoming more fierce and desperate in their search.

Frank and Anna
Anna and her husband Frank. Image: Supplied.

"We are searching everyday. If we aren't doing something about it, we're thinking about it, every single day," Greg told Mamamia.

"It's not something we can switch off and switch on. Significant events like Christmas...birthdays.

"If you focus on the bad, you've have half given up. We focus on hope," he said.

The complicated mess that is the investigation.

It took between 60 and 80 days for Malaysian police to do a single thing for Anna Jenkins.

To say it's been difficult and disappointing for those who love Anna is an understatement. The treatment the Jenkins family has received from both Malaysian and Australian authorities is complicated and hard to comprehend.

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"I don't cry that often, I am not an emotional person usually," Greg told Mamamia. "But when I sat in a meeting with the heads of police [to talk about the case] it broke me."

GREG JENKINS
Greg has searched in sewers, morgues and hospitals, and has distributed 11,000 posters in a bid to find his mum. Image: Supplied.

Greg says they've dealt with corruption, a botched operation and have received not an ounce of sympathy for their plight from authorities. They've received the opposite, however, from family, friends and complete strangers, who have contacted them from all over the world. Greg's gratitude for their compassion is enough to make his voice crack while on the phone to Mamamia.

But in an official capacity, Greg feels he's essentially been investigating his mother's disappearance himself. Every "sighting" comes straight to his phone, he's the one that tracked down CCTV footage, he's the one that's constantly emailing the local police tips. He's also the one who has interviewed the Uber driver and the dentist. He is basically playing the role of investigator.

"The police have not conducted the search to the required standard we would expect and we have been left dealing with ignorance and apathy with the Royal Malaysian Police. Simple things such as checking cameras, interviewing people, basic ground search, all have yet to be conducted," Greg explained.

"The family have even been accused without investigation of domestic abuse," said Greg. He says this accusation is an attempt by police to make the case a family matter and not a police matter.

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Anna Frank Jenkins
Greg and Jen grew up in a tight-knit family unit with their parents Anna and Frank Jenkins. This picture was taken in 1999. Image: Supplied.

When the Jenkins ask for help from home, they also get pushback.

"We deal with DFAT who then emails the high commission in Kuala Lumpur, who then emails the chief of police in Kuala Lumpur, who then emails the chief of the police station in Penang, who then emails the investigating officer. That process takes between two and six months," he explained to Mamamia.

"We keep getting told that there is no jurisdiction for the Australian government to assist in Malaysian police investigations," he added. "It stung the first couple of times we heard it...she's an Australian citizen and she's missing."

One of the few people who cared, says Greg, was Julie Bishop who "always got back to him." She resigned as Foreign Minister in August 2018.

"We sent an email and follow up one and a half years ago to the current minister, and the only response we've had is: 'a response is imminent'," Greg said.

For a family who is desperate for answers and for whom time is precious, Greg says the rigmarole they've experienced at the hands of authorities is only worsening the wound.

In a statement provided to Mamamia, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said:

"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance, in accordance with the Consular Services Charter, to the family of an Australian woman who is reported missing in Malaysia.

"We are assisting the family with their liaison with the Royal Malaysian Police. Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment."

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The Jenkins aren't giving up.

"Please let us know if you know something about Mum," said Anna's daughter Jen Bowen in an emotional video sent to Mamamia. "We are pleading with the people of Malaysia. Please, please let us know. We need to know if she's safe, healthy and okay."

Greg and Jen are refusing to give up.

ANNA-JENKINS
Anna Jenkins has been missing more than two years. She's been an Australian citizen for 37 years. Image: Supplied.

"Mum, you are so smart. Can you please find a way to get back to us, to get back to Dad. We want to see you happy and healthy again," pleads Jen.

The family have hired a private investigator to help them search for Anna, while also continuing to beg Malaysian and Australian authorities for help.

"The hardest thing I have had to deal with [is searching things such as] sewer drains, creek lines, filthy street drains, vacant lots, cemeteries, morgues, hospitals and many other areas," Greg told Mamamia.

"The hardest emotional struggle we have had to deal with is to search for the body of our own mother," he said.

With their dad Frank's dementia and cancer worsening day by day, they just want answers.

Anna's mum died without knowing what happened to Anna. They don't want her husband to have to do the same one day.

If you can have any information for the Jenkins family, please contact them via Facebook here.

They have just set up a GoFundMe account to help them fund further trips to Malaysia. You can donate here.

Feature Image: Supplied by the Jenkins family.

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