Dale McCauley

Missing since - January 16th 1998

Dale was living in his cottage on a farm at Willunga, SA when he went missing in January 1998. The article below details the circumstances surrounding his disappearance. No trace has been found of Dale and his family and friends are still missing him and want to know what happened.

My son murdered

August 13, 2006 12:15am - Adelaide Now

THE father of missing Willunga man Dale McCauley believes his son has been murdered.

Eric McCauley, 83, says there is "no other" explanation for his son's mysterious disappearance in January, 1998.
Now living in Sydney with daughter Sandra, Mr McCauley said he was convinced Dale's disappearance was connected with his purchase of a yacht with an associate.

"Something's happened. I know the police can't do much without evidence but it would be nice to know what did happen," he said. "As I understand it, the other chap won't even talk to the police now."

Detective Sergeant David Rowe, of the Major Crime Investigation Section, said the associate had been interviewed early in the investigation.

"Should any new information come to hand we will follow that up, including speaking to the associate if the information relates to that person," he said.

The man who was the last person to see Dale McCauley alive is understood to now live in Queensland, having spent some time in Papua New Guinea after Mr McCauley vanished.

A major line of investigation in the long-running case is the joint purchase of a 13m yacht by Mr McCauley and the associate.

The pair bought the yacht in Geelong in late 1997 several months before Mr McCauley vanished.

It is understood planned renovations to the yacht resulted in tensions between the pair.

Eric McCauley said the associate had sold the yacht several months after his son vanished despite the joint-ownership situation.

"The couple that bought it renovated it nicely. They never doubted that this chap owned it when they bought it," he said.

"I didn't have the heart to intervene because they had bought it in good faith."

Mr McCauley said he had fond memories of his son, a graphic artist who taught at Aboriginal settlements in the Northern Territory. "He was a pretty quiet lad. He loved life, he loved driving cars and liked helping people," he said.

"That's how he came to let this chap stay down on his property in the first place."

A former neighbour also said he had no doubt Dale McCauley had been murdered.

"It's just not him. Something has happened pretty suddenly," said Ken Eddleston, who first met Mr McCauley in 1976.

Mr McCauley was last seen by his associate on January 16, 1998, but he was not reported missing until a month later by another friend.

Evidence at the house, which Mr McCauley built himself from timber salvaged from the former Seaview winery, suggests he had not planned to leave.

His truck and favourite hat had been left behind, food was rotting on the kitchen bench and starving sheep were found on his property.

His bank account has not been touched since he vanished.