Jessica GAUDIE

 

Age:16
Height (cm):
Hair Colour:Red/Ginger
Eye Colour: Brown
Build:Medium
Date of Disappearance:1999
Town/City:Nambour
State:Qld
Country:Australia

Jessica was never seen again after she left home on August 28 1999 to babysit three young children, for Derek Sam's estranged de facto, Mia Summers, who lived a short distance away in Ridgewood Street, Burnside, and wanted to go to a birthday party that evening.

That night, Sam turned up at the same party and was involved in an argument with another man over Mia. He told police he went back to Mia Summers' house and picked up Jessica to ask her to go into the party and get Mia to come home.

He claimed he had dropped Jessica off at the intersection of Bonney and Elizabeth streets, Nambour. Derek Sam has been convicted of Jessica's murder however Jessica is still missing.

If you have any information please contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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DEREK Sam sat staring at the ground, then at the ceiling before he said what three desperate families were begging not to hear.
Asked the direct question _ what had he done with the body of Jessica Gaudie _ Sam remained silent in the witness box for 30 long seconds.
It was a moment of extreme intensity. It was as if no one in the room was able to take a breath.
Finally, Sam's gaze turned to the police and the families sitting behind them in the Maroochydore court gallery.
He raised his shoulders slightly into a resigned shrug.
"What can I say?''
The words came out softly after a deep breath, dashing the hopes of three families who had come to the inquiry hoping to learn the ultimate fate of their loved ones.
"If that's how it's going to be, I'll die in jail. I cannot put my hand up for a crime I didn't commit,'' he said.
"I don't care what you people think. My kids are gone. My family's gone. I'm a puppet on a string. The day I walk out of jail I'm dead. It doesn't matter to me.''
The man who has been sentenced to life for the killing of the Nambour teenager, and tops the list of suspects for the disappearance of British backpacker Celena Bridge and Kenilworth teacher-aid Ann Glassop in 1998 and 1999, said there was nothing more he could tell.
The response followed a last bid to coax information from the convicted killer.
"I know you want to go up north. You can't get visitors now,'' Shane Panoho, the police officer assisting the coroner, said.
"I'm sure applications can be made if you help this family (the Gaudies),'' Sgt Panoho offered. "I don't mind if you consider this an inducement or not.''

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Behind one of the Coast's biggest mysteries
28.04.2007
BACKGROUNDER by Janine Hill Ballina Shire Advocate

WHEN British backpacker Celena Bridge began a hike in the Sunshine Coast hinterland on a winter's day in 1998, she walked into a mystery that would envelope two more women and intrigue Australia for the next seven years.

Ms Bridge was the first of three women to go missing on the Coast in a 16 month period. All of them are now assumed to be dead.

Each was linked in some way to a man named Derek Bellington Sam, although he has only ever been charged and convicted of one murder, that of teenager Jessica Gaudie - the last of the three to disappear.



Finding the missing women, or their bodies, has been like looking for a needle in a haystack for police - without knowing exactly where to find even the haystack.

In all three cases detectives have been frustrated tracing the women's final hours, with either no, or hazy, reported sightings to follow up to help pinpoint a location.
Extensive searches in the Kenilworth area, which involved police camping out overnight in rough terrain and climbing into ravines, failed to turn up anything.

Detective Superintendent Mike Condon, of the Brisbane Homicide Squad, said there were many deep mine shafts in the area that were too dangerous to be searched.

Ms Bridge could have met her fate up to 25 days before anyone realised something was wrong.

The 28-year-old environmental science graduate was in Australia on a backpacking trip to study ecosystems and birdlife when she disappeared.

She had stayed two nights at a "commune'' in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the Crystal Waters permaculture village at Conondale, before she set off on July 16 to walk to the Little Yabba Creek camping ground at Kenilworth for a bird- watching meeting the following weekend.

She never arrived.

However, it was not until August 10, when she failed to meet her boyfriend, Johnathon Webb, when he flew over from England to join her that anyone realised she was missing.

Searches of the area failed to find any trace of Ms Bridge or her backpack.

Ms Bridge was seen about 3.30pm on July 16 by a resident of Booloumba Creek Road, and also that afternoon by two men who worked with Derek Sam at Piabun, a centre for troubled Aboriginal youths, on the same road.

However, unlike his boss Mark Johnson and workmates John Poole and Geoff Turner, who identified the person they saw as Ms Bridge, Sam told a 2002 coronial inquest he could not identify the person he saw as male or female, let alone as Celena Bridge.

That same inquiry also looked into the disappearances of Sabrina Ann Glassop and Jessica Gaudie. Ms Glassop was known to Sam and the two were rumoured by some to have been having an affair.

The 47-year-old teacher aid, who lived on the same road as Ms Bridge was last seen, and the same road as the Piabun centre where Derek Sam worked, disappeared on May 29, 1999.

Her car was found at the Little Yabba Creek rest area, just a few hundred metres from her home, where she is believed to have taken her poodle, Poppy, for a walk.

She had dined with her husband, Eric, the night before. He lived in the Kenilworth Forestry office and they made arrangements that he would return the next morning with newspapers and fresh bread for breakfast.

The next morning, Ms Glassop's mother, Joan Worsley, who lived with her husband in a caravan behind her daughter's house, heard her car leave about 6am or 6.30am.

Mrs Worsley became concerned when her daughter failed to return, leaving the animals unfed and the gate open. Eric was also concerned when he arrived for breakfast.

On his way back to the office, he spotted her car. He stopped and noticed it was locked and the bonnet slightly warm.

As with Ms Bridge, searches for Ann Glassop turned up nothing.

Sam's Piabun colleague, John Poole, later told an inquest that Sam had made lewd comments about Ms Glassop and boasted of doing some work at a teacher's house and having a date with one.

Mr Poole told the inquest that a few days after Ms Glassop's disappearance, Sam had acted strangely during a horse ride, taking different routes through the bush, and avoiding an area known as Spike's Hut.

Jessica Gaudie went missing almost three months to the day after Ms Glassop disappeared. However, she was almost instantly linked with Derek Sam, who was later convicted of her murder.

Jessica was never seen by her family after she left home on August 28 to babysit three young children, for Derek Sam's estranged de facto, Mia Summers, who lived a short distance away in Ridgewood Street, Burnside, and wanted to go to a birthday party that evening.

That night, Sam turned up at the same party and was involved in an argument with another man over Mia. He told police he went back to Mia Summers' house and picked up Jessica to ask her to go into the party and get Mia to come home.

He claimed he had dropped Jessica off at the intersection of Bonney and Elizabeth streets, Nambour.

 

Missing women mystery revived

DETECTIVES are preparing to put the disappearance of three women on the Sunshine Coast in the late 1990s back on the agenda.

British backpacker Celena Bridge, 28, was the first of the three to go missing in a 16-month period. Sabrina Ann Glassop, 46, was the second and Jessica Gaudie, 16, the third.

Their bodies have never been found but police have long believed all three disappeared at the hands of Kenilworth-based indigenous tracker Derek Bellington Sam, 38.

The three women were all linked in some way to Sam, who is serving jail time for the murder of Jessica.

Sunshine Coast detective Daren Edwards, a cold case specialist who became the Criminal Investigation Bureau chief earlier this year, had promised to pursue the disappearances to give the women's families answers.

But the Daniel Morcombe investigation took precedence after an arrest in August and resources were allocated to an extensive search near the Glasshouse Mountains.

This week Snr Sgt Edwards said he would pursue the investigation with renewed vigour in the new year.

"We're in the process of getting all the original files from Homicide to have a proper read," he said.

"We want to refresh our minds, do a review of everything and find out where everyone is.

"But right now we're trying to tidy up the Major Incident Room here (which has been the heart of the Morcombe investigation) to make it more user friendly. Our aim is to take a new direction on this investigation with fresh eyes."

Missing Women