Revelle Sabine BALMAIN

 

       

Revelle Balmain … cold case. Revelle Balmain … cold case.Revelle Balmain … cold case.

Revelle Balmain … cold case.Revelle Balmain … cold case.

 

Revelle Balmain … cold case.

     Above left - Revelle's bag and shoe that were found on the streets of Kingsford after she vanished.

  • Last seen: Saturday, 05 November 1994
  • Year of birth: 1972
  • Height: 170 cm
  • Build: Slim
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: Blonde
  • Complexion: Fair
  • Gender: Female
Revelle was last seen at Kingsford in Sydney on 5 November 1994. She was due to meet her mother at Newcastle on 6 November 1994, however she failed to arrive. Revelle has made no contact with family or friends since her disappearance. There are grave concerns for her safety and welfare.

 

Year of birth - 1972

Height - 5/8"
Hair - Blonde
Eyes - Blue
Complexion - Pale (but she has naturally olive skin)
Build - Thin

Last seen - November 5th 1994

Circumstances - Revelle was a top model and dancer who was about to return to Japan to take up another dance contract. She was due to meet her friend on the evening of November 5th 1994 but failed to keep the appointment. Her friend last spoke to her by phone at 7:15pm. Police interviewed a 31 year old man who had been with Revelle on the afternoon prior to her disappearance and he said he had driven Revelle to the Red Tomato Inn at 7pm. The following day Revelle's bag, shoes, make up, diary, credit cards and the keys to her flat were found scattered around several Kingsford streets. Revelle has not been since since this time.
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Revelle please contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000

 

Click here for Revelle's You Tube video released by the AFP

 

 

Reward of $250,000 to solve disappearance and murder of Revelle Balmain

 

$250,000 is being offered by the NSW Government for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person/s responsible for the death of model Revelle Balmain, at Kingsford in 1994.

Acting NSW Police Minister Kristina Keneally today announced the reward for information to solve the case had been lifted from $100,000 to $250,000.

"The reward will be posted on the new Police rewards website, which is accessed through the NSW Police Force site, www.police.nsw.gov.au" Ms Keneally said.

"It's believed Ms Balmain, a 22 year old model, was in the company of a man on the night she disappeared on Saturday, 5 November 1994.

"She was a strikingly beautiful woman who might have been noticed by someone who was near Kingsford's Red Tomato Inn on that night.

"While the body of Ms Balmain has never been found, the NSW Coroner believes she was the victim of a homicide.

"This young woman had her whole life ahead of her before meeting this awful fate."

Ms Keneally said the family of Revelle Balmain had obviously been devastated by their loss and police remained puzzled by the case.

"Strikeforce Aramac was established to look into the cold case and they need help with new information to bring to justice the person/s responsible for this heinous crime," Ms Keneally said.

"Ms Balmain's family deserve justice and it is in the public interest that the person/s responsible are arrested and convicted.

"I can only imagine the grief suffered by Ms Balmain's family over the past 13 years, and I just hope that this $250,000 reward can produce results for police.

"Anyone with information should contact the free call Crime Stoppers hotline on 1800 333 000, if someone does not wish to claim the reward they can give information anonymously.

"The slightest piece of evidence could crack this case."

Click here for more information on Revelle Balmain on the NSW Police Force Missing Persons Enquiry System.


Do you have information that can help police with this case?

Any information you have about this is worth giving to police, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

You can provide information to police via any of the methods below:

Any information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Your help may give police the clue they need to close this case and provide some comfort for the families of victims.

How to claim your reward

  1. Contact Crime Stoppers or your local Police Station.
  2. Identify yourself and indicate you have information about a crime and that you wish to claim a reward.
  3. You will then be put in contact with a police officer involved in the investigation of that case.

 

 



**Revelle's sister Suellen has never stopped searching for her sister and is determined to find her.  She wants to send this message out to anyone with information. There is a reward on offer by the NSW Government which has been upgraded from $100,000 to $250,000.

These are Suellen's own words about Revelle's movements the night she disappeared. This account comes directly from Revelle's family who knew and loved her best.



"Revelle was supposed to catch the 9:30am train from Sydney to Newcastle to meet her mother on Sunday morning 6 November 1994; she was to arrive at 11am.   Revelle wanted to say goodbye to her parents before she left for Brisbane for a 2 week dance rehearsal before leaving for Japan on another 6 month dance contract.  She was due to meet a girlfriend on Saturday evening 5 Nov, 1994 but failed to keep this appointment.  Later that evening she was to meet her boyfriend, but failed to keep this appointment as well.  Her girlfriend last spoke to her by phone at 7:15pm.  A man told Police she was driven from premises at Kingsford, Sydney to the Red Tomato Inn at 7.00pm.  No one from the Inn ever saw her. Revelle has not been seen since this time. 
Police interviewed the 31 yr old man who had been with Revelle that afternoon and early evening but no charges were ever laid.  Police and the coroner believed she had been murdered.  Detectives questioned the agency's owner and many of her friends. 


The New South Wales government renewed and upgraded the reward from $100,000 to $250,000 which is still current to anyone who could help police in locating her.

In May '99 John Abernethy, Deputy State Coroner deemed the investigation as an open finding.  Her file will never close until she is found and someone is prosecuted.

As her sister I want to know what happened to her, its been 14 yrs since her disappearance and I think of her every day, it never leaves my mind.  If you have any information that could help me find her, please contact Police on 1800 333 000.

New lead in Revelle Balmain murder

Dylan Welch Police Reporter - SMH
July 31, 2008
 

FORENSIC evidence has added weight to a police theory that the model Revelle Balmain was murdered at a house in Kingsford, sparking renewed interest in her 1994 disappearance.

The Commander of the Homicide Squad, Detective Superintendent Geoff Beresford, said the cold case unit, using advances in forensic procedures, had gathered new evidence from a Kingsford house where Ms Balmain, 22, was allegedly last seen.

Two days after Ms Balmain's disappearance on November 5, a cork-heeled platform shoe, her cane make-up bag, her diary and the keys to her Bellevue Hill unit were found scattered in four streets in the Kingsford area.

It was later revealed that Ms Balmain had been working as a sex worker at two high-end Sydney escort agencies, and she had gone to the Kingsford house, on McNair Avenue, to visit a client, Gavin Owen Samer.

A coronial inquiry in 1998 and 1999 identified Mr Samer as the main person of interest. The then deputy state coroner, John Abernathy, presided over the inquiry and identified Mr Samer as a suspect but fell short of recommending charges.

"While Mr Samer certainly had the opportunity to kill Ms Balmain, and rightly in my view is the main person of interest to police, there is no plausible motive proved," he told the inquiry.

Mr Samer denied he was involved in Ms Balmain's disappearance, telling police and the inquiry he had dropped her at a nearby pub and then gone home, watched television and fallen asleep.

The inquiry also canvassed suggestions that Ms Balmain might have been murdered by the owner of Select Companions - an escort agency she had worked for for six weeks.

The owner, Zoran Stanojevic, provided contradictory evidence to police and the inquiry about his whereabouts on the day she disappeared, but consistently denied he had anything to do with her disappearance.

The inquiry heard that a wealthy commodities trader and former client of Ms Balmain, Mark Coulton, had told a friend that Ms Balmain had been murdered by the agency for "moonlighting", or doing extra sex work for cash on the side.

"She's 10-foot under and no-one will find her body," he was alleged to have told a friend. Mr Coulton later denied under oath he had ever made the statement.

Superintendent Beresford yesterday confirmed that the same two men were still the only two suspects in the alleged murder.

Ms Balmain's case is the second in two days to get a boost from a recently formed "cold case" homicide team. On Tuesday police said they believed they knew what had happened to Trudie Adams, who disappeared from the northern beaches in 1987, aged 18.

Both cases have attracted a $250,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

Hunt goes on for escort Revelle Balmain's final client

THE chief suspect in the 14-year-old murder of Sydney model and part-time escort Revelle Balmain is no longer in Sydney - with homicide detectives last night launching a search for him.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal NSW homicide detectives, who have been reinvestigating the case quietly for the past year, are seeking to speak to Gavin Owen Samer, who is from a affluent Sydney family.

It is understood Samer, who lived in McNair Ave, Kingsford, in the 1990s, no longer lives in Sydney and attempts are being made to locate him.

It is understood Samer is the only remaining suspect in the case and is still believed to be in Australia.

Samer was Ms Balmain's last known client as a prostitute on the night she disappeared - Saturday, November 5 - and she attended a house he was living in on McNair Ave.

The 22-year-old's belongings, including a diary and keys, were later found scattered around streets in Kingsford.

Homicide Detective Superintendent Geoff Beresford announced yesterday that police had new information and forensic test results that were a breakthrough in the unsolved case.

The announcement was coupled with an increase of the reward for information leading to the arrest of Ms Balmain's killer/s, from $100,000 to $250,000.

The forensic results came from a second search of the McNair Ave house, conducted in the past year. Due to advancements in forensic technology, the search yielded more than the original search, Supt Beresford said.

A previous inquest into Ms Balmain's disappearance heard police officers checked Samer's house and car for evidence of blood or a struggle but did not call in crime scene experts because there was no body.

Samer was named as the suspect in Ms Balmain's disappearance in a 1998 inquest into her suspected death. The inquest heard Samer told police Ms Balmain had visited his home Kingsford about 4pm on November 5, and that he drove her to the Red Tomato Inn nearby about 7pm.

However, the then officer-in-charge Detective Sergeant Grahame Mulherin told the inquest police did not believe Mr Samer's version of events.

Police also noticed injuries on Samer's neck, chest and hands in the days following November 5 and the inquest heard these could be from a struggle - or there could be an innocent explanation.

Samer told police he pawned his then-girlfriend's clarinet to pay Ms Balmain's $400 bill.

State coroner at the time, John Abernethy, said Samer had no case to answer and that she had been murdered by an unknown person or persons.

Ms Balmain's half-sister Suellen Simpson said Ms Balmain had been about to give up escort work.

Cold case unit uses new technology to solve homicides

Australian Broadcasting Corporation - The 7:30 Report

Broadcast: 09/09/2008

Reporter: Deborah Cornwall

Major developments in DNA and forensic technology in the past five years has revolutionised the way criminal investigators do their work. In NSW, a new unsolved homicide unit has now been set up to try and clear a massive backlog and police say there are a lot of people out there who should be very nervous.
 

Transcript

KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Major developments in DNA and forensic technology in the past five years have revolutionised the way criminal investigators do their work. With more difficult crimes like homicide, detectives are now producing some spectacular results, including the arrest last week of a Victorian man for the murder of his wife 22 years ago. But it's NSW that has the biggest number of cold case homicides on its books: 420 murders dating back to 1975. A new unsolved homicide unit has now been set up to try and clear the backlog, and with 35 full time investigators, police say there are a lot of people out there who should be very nervous. Deborah Cornwall reports.

DEBORAH CORNWALL, REPORTER: It's 14 years since Sydney model and part-time escort Revelle Balmain vanished without a trace.

SUELLEN SIMPSON, REVELLE BALMAIN'S RELATION: Was she screaming in the last couple of minutes? Was she in the dark? Could anyone hear her? Those things, I think about.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: At the coroner's inquest, her last client Gavin Samer was named as the prime suspect in her murder. But without a body or enough evidence to lay charges, the family has learned to live in a sort of nightmarish limbo.

SUELLEN SIMPSON: The not knowing is the worst. Last week, I saw one girl who looked like Revelle and it took my breath away. I thought by heart would stop because she was so similar to Revelle.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: Every year, some 300 Australians are murdered, but this most heinous of crimes can also be one of the hardest to prove and up to one in every five murders are never solved.

JOHN ABERNETHY, FORMER NSW CORONER: That's the problem with homicide: you get everything else, like an armed stick up or a rape and the witness isn't dead. Here you've got the main witness, the victim is dead, and that's what makes homicides special and makes them so hard.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: In NSW alone, there are 420 homicides dating back to 1975 where the killers are still at large. With the launch of the state's new unsolved homicide unit in May this year, at least half those cases have now been marked for reinvestigation.

GEOFF BERESFORD, NSW HOMICIDE SQUAD COMMANDER: Delving back into cases that could be up to three decades old is difficult. It presents huge challenges for us. But the challenge is to find that piece of evidence, to find that piece of information that may not have been there during the original inquiry. It does haunt you, and particularly in cases where children are involved.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: In the past month alone, homicide boss Geoff Beresford has relaunched three new cold cases, among them, Revelle Balmain and the bizarre disappearance of baby Tegan Lane, who hasn't been seen since her mother took her from the hospital 11 years ago.

Tegan's mother Keli Lane remains the prime suspect in the baby's disappearance, after an inquest by former State Coroner, John Abernathy, three years ago failed to find Tegan, despite a nationwide search.

JOHN ABERNETHY: Tegan Lane was arguably the most frustrating case I did. It was a case that I simply could not solve.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: At the inquest, police revealed Tegan was only one of three children Keli Lane had given birth to between 1995 and 1999, yet she'd managed to keep them all a secret from family and friends. Two of the children had been adopted out, but by the time authorities realised Tegan was missing, local police at first failed to recognise they were dealing with a possible homicide.

JOHN ABERNETHY: It was left at Manly police station for far too long without being properly looked at. And, that, sadly, has made a bit of a difference to that case in my view. The police have to garner a brief of evidence for the Coroner, because ultimately the inquest may be the last throw of the dice.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: Investigators say while the trail may have gone cold on old homicides, it can also be a very powerful weapon. Often they'll return to a case years later to find key witnesses like friends and family have fallen out with the suspect and are no longer prepared to protect them. And just sometimes, it can also be the final trigger for the killer to confess.

GEOFF BERESFORD: Often you find when you confront the suspect they're more than willing to actually confess to the crime. It's almost as if they expected the police to turn up at some stage. And it's such an unnatural, violent thing to do, to take the life of another person. And unless someone is a psychopath, they wouldn't normally be able to live with it forever.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: In the case of Tegan Lane, John Abernathy concluded there was no question Keli Lane had lied to police, but there wasn't enough evidence to charge anyone.

The cold case unit has since returned to the investigation, starting last month with an excavation at the former house of Keli Lane's then boyfriend, where profilers and geo forensics experts led the search for Tegan's remains.

New forensics like DNA sampling and laser lights may also prove critical in cases like Revelle Balmain. Her shoes and other items, found scattered around the Sydney suburb of Kingsford, just days after her disappearance, are now being re-examined for DNA that simply wasn't traceable, even five years ago. But so far, the main suspect Gavin Samer has refused to provide police with a DNA sample.

GEOFF BERESFORD: It can be a combination of the fresh evidence, fresh information, the new technologies that we're applying now. There should be people out there now who should be very nervous of our new team.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: For families who've been waiting for years, even decades for answers, it may also be the second chance they'd always hoped for.

SUELLEN SIMPSON: 14 years is a long time to wonder where she is and who murdered her. Why should someone murder her and think that they can walk away and just forget about it. We're not ever gonna forget about it - ever. I won't let it happen.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Deborah Cornwall with that report.

 

'They made us feel like criminals'

DID police bungle the case of missing dancer Revelle Balmain? After 17 years, her family is still waiting for answers.

To have a child go missing is one of the worst things a parent can experience. Perhaps the only thing worse would be to reach the end of your days never knowing what happened to them.

Ivor Balmain’s life hadn’t been easy. Raised in an orphanage and scarred by wartime experiences, he was thrilled when he met and married Jan, a dance teacher. The couple had two children, daughter Revelle and son Matthew, and life was finally sweet.

But then fate dealt another blow. Matthew drowned in the family pool aged 15 months.

Revelle became even more precious. Beautiful, a talented dancer, loving and lovable, she provided salve for Ivor’s pain - until, out of the blue, she vanished in 1994.

Suellen Simpson - Revelle’s half-sister from Jan’s earlier marriage - recalls her step-father’s devastation: “I remember him crying, ‘I’ve lost Matthew, I can’t cope if Revelle has gone as well.’ I so felt for him, I made a vow: I’m going to do everything possible to find Revelle for Ivor.”

Tragically, her efforts didn’t bring Ivor the comfort he craved. Last December, he passed away, a broken man. “All he needed was to know where Revelle was,” says Simpson.

Today she’s as determined as ever to find out, once and for all, what happened to her sister. Fuelled by a potent fury at the police investigation, she’s become almost obsessed. “I think my anger’s kept me going. If I’d lost that, I’d have given up.”

Revelle was 22 when she went missing. About to go on a six-month dance tour of Japan, she had arranged to visit her parents before she left. On November 6, Jan was to meet her at Newcastle station at 11am, while Ivor stayed home to make lunch.

Their daughter never turned up. Shortly afterwards, her belongings - shoes, wallet and keys - were found scattered around the streets of Kingsford, in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, where she was last seen.

“My first reaction when Mum told me was disbelief,” recalls Simpson. “My hands were shaking and I could barely hold the phone.”

She immediately drove from her home in Melbourne to Port Stephens to be with her parents. The next day saw her scouring Newcastle bushland for her sister, the first of many searches that have defined her life since. She’s walked every tunnel, beach and national park around Sydney, interrogated a foreign, often scary underbelly and read every statement and piece of evidence so many times, she can recite it by heart.

For the first 18 months after Revelle’s disappearance, Simpson called the officer in charge of the investigation every day, and spent each night on the phone to her mum going over the evidence.

Her marriage failed under the strain.

“I remember [the police officer] telling me, ‘You need to see a counsellor.’ But I didn’t need a counsellor; I was angry and he was one of the causes of my anger. Every time I suggested something, it was shut down. My family and I were made to feel like criminals because we wanted questions answered.”

Five years on, the state coroner agreed the original police investigation wasn’t as thorough as it could have been, and Simpson believes she knows why. A few days after the disappearance, the family received shattering news: Revelle had secretly been boosting her bank balance by working as an escort.

Simpson insists the revelation had no impact on her feelings towards her sister, but adds, “I believe police thought Revelle’s life was worth less because she was an escort.”

At 4pm on November 5, Revelle had an appointment in Kingsford with a client. Ironically, Revelle, fussy, modest and in love with a new boyfriend, had announced she was quitting escort work and this was to be her final client. (It’s been rumoured she was made an example of and murdered because of her plan to leave the industry.)

At 7.15pm, she called a friend, saying she was leaving an appointment, and arranged to meet for a drink. She didn’t arrive and although the first report of her disappearance was made that Saturday evening, the investigation didn’t get under way until Monday, by which time the local bins had been emptied - eliminating potential evidence. “Anything could have been in them,” fumes Simpson.

That was the first in a sequence of bungled attempts to solve the case. Just as frustrating to Simpson was that Revelle’s last client was found to have injuries and scratches on him, which he put down to a surfing accident. A forensic pathologist told the inquest this was possible, but also stated they could have been sustained in a struggle.

Other leads weren’t followed. The client’s car wasn’t forensically tested (he told police he’d given Revelle a ride to a pub at about 7pm), nor was Revelle’s bedroom. Meanwhile, an alibi given by Zoran Stanojovic, the owner of the escort agency for which Revelle worked, wasn’t questioned until the inquest, five years later. It was the coroner who noted that the person supporting his alibi - an escort in his employ - hadn’t been questioned. The woman then told police Stanojovic had driven her to several appointments on November 5, before they stopped to change a flat tyre on his BMW. Stanojovic insisted he did not see or speak to Revelle that night.

On May 28, 1999, the coroner ruled Revelle was likely to have been murdered. It took three more years for Simpson to accept this might be the truth.

“I never stopped thinking she might walk through a door, make that call or turn up somewhere,” she says. “Then, one night, I stood in front of a victims’ support group and told them what had happened, and it finally hit me she wasn’t coming back. Voicing what our family had experienced shook me into reality. I drove home that night knowing I’d told others she was gone and that I couldn’t ignore what I’d said. It tore through my heart like nothing else.

“This has changed me,” she admits. “I used to trust everyone. I don’t trust anyone now. That’s what Revelle’s killers have done to our family. They’ve destroyed us.”

That Revelle was embarrassed about her secret life, there is little doubt. She even hid it from her boyfriend, Piers Fisher-Pollard.

At lunchtime on the day she disappeared, he put her on a bus to visit friends in Paddington, and had plans to meet her later that night for a farewell drink before she set off for Japan.

“The police initially said she must have gone walkabout,” he says. “But I knew she wouldn’t do that. She wanted to see me before she left and she was really excited about seeing her parents the next day.

“I was the one who reported her missing,” he adds. “When the police told me she was working as a prostitute, it was a double bombshell.”

Today, NSW police say Revelle’s case is ongoing. They refuse to comment, but believe they have identified a suspect. Simpson and Jan, however, believe there was more than one person involved. Their best hope now is that consciences will eventually be pricked and someone will come forward with the truth.

“It destroys me to think there’s someone walking this country who has killed,” Simpson says. “Someone who might kill again.”

 Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

 

 

Missing dancer Revelle Balmain’s family still trying to uncover the truth

Thursday, July 31, 2014 - Woman's Day

It is almost 20 years since Revelle Balmain, disappeared on the streets of Sydney. Her family still don’t know what happened to the young model and dancer…

It took Suellen Simpson eight years to realise that her sister, Revelle Balmain, was never coming home. Throughout that time she continued to live in hope. Their mother, Jan, had accepted the stark reality only a few months after her 22-year-old daughter disappeared. Mother’s instinct told her she wouldn’t see Revelle again after she vanished one Saturday evening in 1994.

“But I never believed she was gone,” recalls Suellen.

“Then one night I was at a meeting at the Homicide Victims Support Group in Melbourne. There were about 15 people sitting round and I spoke to them about Revelle. I explained what I was doing to try and find her, the letters I was writing…but as I was driving home that night it hit me – I thought ‘she’s dead and I’m never going to see her again’. But it took eight years.”

The devastating realisation that Revelle was almost certainly dead didn’t stop Suellen searching for answers as to what happened to her sister. Almost 20 years on, Suellen and Jan are still waiting to uncover the truth.

They believe crucial opportunities to solve the young model’s disappearance were squandered in the first 48 hours after she vanished. And they say their experience is a warning to other families when a loved one goes missing.

“The first 48 hours after someone goes missing are the most crucial time. Revelle went missing on the Saturday night but police didn’t start looking for her until Monday morning,” says Suellen.

“In those first 48 hours every action the police take is critical – whom they speak to, where they look, what evidence they find. When there are delays, things get missed and years later, like us, you end up without answers.”

Revelle disappeared on Saturday 5th November 1994. An attractive and accomplished performer, at the time she went missing she was living in a share-house in Sydney. But she was only days away from moving to Japan to work as a dancer.

Unknown to her family, Revelle had been working for an escort agency to make ends meet. Around 7pm on the Saturday she went missing, Revelle went to a client’s home in the Kingsford, Sydney. She was never seen again.

“That was a hideous shock. She got involved with the wrong people,” says Jan.

“We understand she was doing that work for a short period of time and then she was off to Japan. She’d also started modelling. It was all happening for her but unfortunately she was with the wrong crowd and didn’t get away soon enough.”

Revelle’s shoes, wallet and keys were later found scattered around streets in Kingsford. Her last client was questioned by police but told them that after their appointment he dropped Revelle at a Sydney hotel around 7pm.

“Revelle was meeting me at 11 o’clock the next day for Sunday lunch – I was supposed to meet her at Newcastle train station. But she didn’t arrive and she wasn’t on the next train either,” says Jan.

“So I made a report to police that day – a mother knows when something is wrong.”

When Jan called Suellen and told her Revelle hadn’t arrived she initially thought her younger sister had simply slept in.

“But on Monday when Revelle’s items were found around the streets, everything fell apart,” she says.

But the nightmare was only just beginning for Revelle’s family.

Suellen is still angered by what she believes were missed opportunities to solve her sister’s disappearance.

In July this year she wrote to the NSW Police Minister asking for the current $250,000 reward for information to solve Revelle’s case to be raised to $1 million.

“By the time police did go and see Revelle’s last client he had cleaned his car, cleaned his home and washed his clothes and linen. The rubbish bins in the area had been emptied. He had scratches on his face and neck but there was never enough evidence,” says Suellen.

“That first 48 hours of the investigation saw so many fumbles where information and evidence that may have helped us find out what happened to Revelle wasn’t collected.”

Frustrated by a lack of action, Suellen and friends searched for Revelle. Suellen spoke to her sister’s friends and searched Sydney’s streets and beaches every weekend for months. Her search went on for years.

“I remember phoning the detective in charge and asking him where he’d looked, who he’d spoken to and he wouldn’t give me any information. Instead he told me I needed counselling,” says Suellen.

“Whenever we asked questions we were made to feel like criminals.”

Suellen says families need to be proactive when a loved one does go missing – especially in the first 48 hours.

“You need to get that person’s face on the TV news and in the newspapers so the community can report anything suspicious that may help. You also have to stand up and ask questions and make sure the police are doing everything they can,” she says.

Revelle’s heartbroken father, Ivor, died in December 2011 still not knowing where his daughter was. In May 1999 the Coroner’s Court ruled Revelle was likely to have been murdered but Jan and Suellen still want answers.

“You don’t give up hope. It’s around you all the time – that hope that something will happen, someone will come forward and say what happened,” says Jan.

“Because someone out there does know what happened to Revelle. They know the truth.”

*Anyone with information about Revelle Balmain’s disappearance can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. There is a $250,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person/s responsible for Revelle’s death.