When Liam Donnelly's dad didn't come home one night the 7-year-old and his sister thought he was just playing a game.
The previous week the children had been playing hide and seek with him and he'd hidden in the walk-in-wardrobe, so this time they knew just where to look.
"Me and my sister ran there and said 'found ya'... [but] he wasn't there."
Fast forward 15 years and Liam is still looking for his father Jim Donnelly. So is his sister Siobhan and their mother Tracey.
It's something that has haunted the family ever since and they are desperate for answers.
"Honestly the hardest part is not being able to put him to rest in my mind and have that closure, because I can't let go, because I have nothing to let go of," the now 22-year-old told the Herald in an exclusive interview this week.
There are numerous theories about what could have happened on the morning on June 21 in 2004 - but no one has been able to solve the case.
On the day he disappeared, Donnelly woke Tracey early to tell her he had brought some presents for the kids' birthdays, which were months away.
At 5am he headed to work at the Glenbrook Steel Mill in South Auckland. He arrived just after 6am, parked in the usual spot and was seen by colleagues up until 8.30am.
After that he vanished.
His wife had phoned him at 8am but he never called back. He didn't attend a 9am meeting and he didn't pick up the phone when his best friend Stephen Taylor tried calling.
Concerned, Taylor contacted the mill at 1pm where staff told him they thought he was off sick.
Once Donnelly's car was found still parked outside, a search was started. His safety hat and some personal belongings were found inside an acid vat at the mill a week later but there was no other trace of him.
Tracey initially believed he may have had an accident, while a coroner's report officially concluded Jim died of some sort of misadventure.
Most of the conjecture came from the days before Jim's disappearance, when he was described as acting strangely.
The week before he'd become fascinated with joining the Freemasons, and on the Saturday he cancelled a date night and said he had a meeting to go to - without explaining what sort of meeting.
On Sunday he left the house unexpectedly, saying he had to stop some sort of "waste and a crisis" and ended up being trespassed from Stephen Taylor's workplace in Mt Eden.
Police investigated all of his prior movements, but were never able to piece together what happened.
The officer in charge of the file, Inspector Dave Glossop, said the experts leaned towards some sort of psychotic episode.
"But it's one of those cases that you could persuade people depending on how you portray the evidence," he said.
"It could be that he has come to an end at his own hand, he has gone and created a new life for himself, or he has been the subject of an accident.
"But there is also equally as much compelling evidence to show that none of those are viable, but throughout this entire mix there is not an iota of evidence of anything to do with foul play."
Despite there being no evidence of foul play you'd expect someone to have seen something that day. Men don't just vanish.
Glossop said it was "bizarre" there had been no leads in the 15-year timeframe.
"Because allegiances and alliances change over time and a lot of cold cases are solved by police by something happening in witnesses' lives that lead them to confessions, but in this case there is nothing at all," he said.
He said the broken chain of information leaves police with many possible scenarios.
"It's like having a jigsaw that all the pieces aren't there and you have other pieces from other jigsaws in amongst it. Most of our investigations do follow a relatively linear line, but this is something different."
Glossop said there still isn't a week that goes by that he doesn't think of Donnelly.
"There will be something that happens all the time, whether it be us finding remains or a TV programme about a missing person," he said.
"As I am heading towards the backline of my career it will probably be the thing that I regret the most. I have 30 years in the police and it is very frustrating still having that file.
"Nothing makes sense, and I can't imagine what it's been like for Tracey because I know how frustrating it has been for me to not be able to make sense of it."
Frustrating doesn't even begin to describe the past 15 years for Tracey and her children.
"It was like being in a nightmare. Getting out of bed each morning was hard – it was just putting one foot in front of the other and keeping on moving," Tracey said.
"I jumped every time the phone went, or when there was a knock at the door. I was on edge the whole time because I didn't know when or what I was going to find out.
"It was very debilitating in the fact that I was in no condition to work – I was just existing for quite some time."
Tracey and the kids moved back in with her parents for support. She also had to turn to Work and Income for financial assistance.
"Your whole life gets turned upside down and your values and what you were striving for beforehand gets totally knocked for six," she said.
"I had no idea what I was feeling. One minute I would be on top of things and the next minute I would be throwing my toys out of the cot.
"Who you were is not there anymore and you're just trying to make sense of it all."
She said one of the hardest things was trying to explain to the children what was going on.
"It was always difficult to explain on their level. I used to say that if he was alive, the one place he'd want to be would be with us – so he obviously couldn't be with us, therefore he wasn't alive."
In the following months the family attended grief counselling, and the Ministry of Education set up counselling for the children at school.
"There were a few issues at school with Siobhan, who was acting out a bit, but at the same time Liam retreated," Tracey said.
Liam recalls going back to school and facing the pressures of being in the public eye.
"As a kid I had no idea, all I was thinking about was trying to find my dad," he said.
"Then in intermediate it was used against me in a bullying fashion, with people saying things like he ran away because of me.
"Nobody could ever understand what it was like because the closest they could get is their parents getting divorced or dying, but the difference with that is they know how they died - all I knew is he went to work and he didn't come back."
Later in high school Liam said, "it was about learning to put it in a box and let it stay off to the side so I could actually do schoolwork".
While Tracey also struggled to return to fulltime work, she said a turning point came for her when she visited a psychic.
"What she did for me was basically told me Jim had passed on, it was over for him and he was okay. She actually helped me face the fact that yes perhaps he was dead.
"Before that I had been out searching in swamps and mangroves and out the beaches near the mill. That actually centred things and gave me an anchor.
"But there is always that little bit of doubt that he could still be out there. For years I trawled the newspapers for stories about remains being found, and then I would ring up my policeman friend and ask him to find out for me. It just sits there all the time."
More than a decade on, the family are still dealing with the repercussions.
Liam has battled with depression and ended up taking time off university, where he was studying media design, to begin counselling.
"For a long time I was dealing with depression but not actually knowing that I had it because it had become my normal.
"I was in a spiralling dark hole where the only place was going downwards, but the counsellor helped me break that spiral," he said.
"After talking to her for a few years it's got to the point where I am looking at going back to study because I feel more confident and sure of myself.
"I am more adjusted to the ideas of my dad not being around and me not being able to have a normal family life."
Tracey says her daughter, who is studying theatre studies, is in a "totally different space".
"She doesn't remember a lot and that makes her feel a little bit excluded."
Tracey also struggles with insecurities because of the prolonged trauma.
"I've become quite overprotective of my children. Because they had such a major shock and trauma in their lives, I've tried to soften the other blows that come along and basically wrapped them up in cotton wool," she said.
Key milestones have been difficult for the children.
For Liam, Father's Day has always been a painful reminder, but his 21st birthday was one of the hardest milestones he's had to face.
"Mum had kept a present that he'd got me. It was emotional and most of the night in the back of my head I was thinking about him," he said.
"The present was a Harry Potter board game, because Harry Potter was something we always watched as a family. We were real Harry Potter fans."
He said another time that was especially difficult was a wedding he attended.
"I saw the dad take his daughter down the aisle; I realised my sister will never get that."
The family remain adamant they will find answers to Jim's disappearance.
"I don't want it to just go away because it has to be resolved. We just hope some information will come out. That someone will feel that the time is right to actually tell us what happened," Tracey said.
"All we want is to know what happened and why he is not here. I am not trying to find anyone at fault, I am just trying to find out what happened – for us."
Liam had a message for those people who might have information.
"To the people who know something, the people who have the knowledge and have hid it from us, it's time to let us know," he said.
"They have hid it from two kids for so long. If they could ever think about how their kids, their family, would feel if they just up and left, went missing or died – look at us, this is the aftermath of everything that happens," he said.
• Any information can be passed to Counties Manukau Police 09 261 1300 or through Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.