The family of 16-year-old Donald Govan, who went missing from an Echuca camping ground two months ago, are hopeful he might be found after a man came forward to say he gave a lift to a hitch-hiker resembling the teenager.
Donald's sister Jacinta Jackson said the man phoned CrimeStoppers after giving a lift to a boy fitting her brother's description on the Murray Valley Highway near Swan Hill last night.
"From what he said, it sounds like Donny. He said he went home and looked up the Facebook page and the photos and he said while he can't be positive, he's pretty sure it was Donny he picked up," she said.
"He said it was a pretty confusing conversation and the young boy wasn't making much sense."
The boy — who was wearing tracksuit pants and hoodie, despite the 37 degree heat — told the driver that he was going to visit his pregnant sister in the town of Rochester, which is about 30 kilometres from where Donny went missing on September 1.
"The man just asked how far pregnant she was and he wasn't sure. He said he hasn't spoken to his family in a while. He said he'd been walking for hours from Swan Hill, but Swan Hill's about a five minute walk from where he picked this boy up."
The man said he dropped the hitch-hiker off at a caravan park near Lake Boga, about 15 kilometres from Swan Hill.
Ms Jackson said it was the first credible sighting of the Ballarat boy since the morning after he disappeared, when an Echuca woman claimed to have spoken to a boy matching Donny's description, who told her he was making his way towards Bendigo.
"We can't be sure but it's the only thing we've had in two months," Ms Jackson said.
"It gives us some hope. Just the fact that somebody's still thinking about him, even if it isn't Donny. We can't be sure, but I think it could well be Donny."
Anyone with information is urged to visit Crimestoppers.com.au or phone 1800 333 000.