An Australian man has been charged with the murder of his lover who disappeared in September last year.

Michael Peter Atkins, 45, said to be the partner of 20 year old Matthew Leveson, was arrested in Cronulla in southern Sydney by police on Tuesday.

Leveson was last seen with Atkins leaving a nightclub together on September 23. He failed to show up for work the next day and was reported missing shortly thereafter. His car was found abandoned a few days later.

While a body has not been found police said that they had a strong circumstantial case against Atkins. The two men were reportedly living together in Atkins’s apartment at the time of the disappearance.

Leveson’s anguished family have called for anyone who might know his whereabouts to come forward.

“The monster may have taken you from me but it can’t take my memories and my love for you away. You will never be forgotten – you are forever in our hearts,” his mother Faye Leveson wrote on Facebook.

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