About 1am on 19 February 1977, after leaving a house party at a Henley Beach, 21-year-old Glen Stewart got into the Morris Mini he had borrowed off his landlord and drove off, heading south along Seaview Rd. Neither he, nor the green Mini Cooper S (with SA registration 577 394) he was driving, have ever been seen again.
The mysterious disappearance of the young man (pictured) is
one of the South Australian cold cases now being reviewed
under the purview of Operation Persist, an
ongoing tactical strategy being led the SA Police Major
Crime Investigation Branch.
Investigator Detective Brevet Sergeant Ann Schaefer said Glen, who was also known as Hugh after becoming involved with international spiritual movement, Subud, did not know the host of the party, but was taken to the gathering that night by his housemate.
While reports vary on how much he had to drink at the party, there is no evidence of any conflict there, and when he left it appeared he was heading home to his flat in Devitt St, Payneham South.
His friend who walked him to his car, told police they were stopped on the way by a police patrol who were asking questions about ‘larrikins’ who were causing trouble in the area. He told police he saw Mr Stewart, who was dressed in a beige short-sleeved shirt with an orange pattern on the hem and sleeves, blue jeans and had a bag made from coloured suede squares, drive off, south along Seaview Road.
The alarm was raised with police after he failed to return home, with Detective Brevet Sergeant Ann Schaefer noting that of most concern was the discovery of his unopened pay check and his much loved dog, Kara, at home.
“The way everyone speaks about his dog, it seems he would be unlikely to leave Kara behind – plus if he was looking to set up a new life, you would think he would take all the money he could get,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Schaefer said.
A nurse, he had plans to travel overland to the UK in January the following year with friends, although he had had his passport stolen while living on a friend’s boat in Cairns and had not yet had it replaced.
Detective Brevet Sergeant Schaefer said from his family’s perspective there was no reason for him to up and leave.
“For me the fact there has been absolutely nothing from 1am, and there are no obvious leads to suggest either way what has happened, makes it a challenging case,” she said.
"I would ask anyone with information about Mr Stewart or his disappearance, no matter how small, to touch base with police.
“They should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 – any information could be of vital importance in relation to this case.
“We don’t ‘close’ matters such as this, and it would be our desire to provide his family with answers about what happened to Glen more than 40 years ago.”
Anyone with information about the disappearance and suspected murder of Mr Stewart is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestopperssa.com.au – you can remain anonymous.
SAPOL review the mysterious disappearance of a 21-year-old man, who was never seen again after leaving a house party at Henley Beach over 40 years ago