On the day Judith Young separated from her husband, she left
their rural property and disappeared without a trace, leaving
behind a vehicle, horses, and the country music artists she
No one reported her missing for more than 18
months and now, nine years after she disappeared, police have
launched a fresh appeal for information about her whereabouts.
Mrs Young, also known by her maiden name Judith Henry, was
last seen by her husband after leaving their home at
Gunningbland, near Parkes, in mid-December 1999. She would now
"The situation was that, in December 1999, she left the
family property ... she left there after she and her husband
separated," Inspector Steve Howard, from Parkes police, said.
"She left on that day ... and, we believe, to go to
"A missing person report was not made until August 2001,
when her brother rang to indicate he hadn't heard from her in
two years and didn't know where she was."
The information that Mrs Young was leaving for Queensland
had come "primarily from her husband'', said Detective Senior
Constable Michael Maloney.
Left behind car and horses
At the Gunningbland property she had left her car, a
Valiant, and two or three horses.
"She travelled quite extensively and even up to Queensland
to purchase ... Andalucian horses.''
Mrs Young had also bought and sold second-hand wares from
around the Parkes area, he said.
Phil Young, Mrs Young's estranged husband, said it was
"rubbish'' that Judith's last contact with any family members
was the day they separated, in December 1999.
He said Mrs Young had called both him and her
sister-in-law in late 2000.
"There was contact made with her sister-in-law ... Judith
was abusing her over the phone.
"I spoke to her probably a couple of months after that.
She wouldn't [say where she was], I assumed she was in
He said Mrs Young had been "under pressure'' from her
brother and his wife around the time she disappeared.
However, he would not elaborate, and said he was reluctant
to discuss the case any further ahead of a likely coronial
He was unaware police had launched an appeal, and said he
did not believe Mrs Young had met any harm. He did not believe
her disappearance was out of character.
"Before I met her she lived in 16 places in four years -
in Queensland, she lived everywhere.
"I'm hoping [any inquest] doesn't uncover anything - the last
thing I want to find out is that something happened to her.''
Asked if he thought she was OK and living elsewhere, he said:
``I hope so.''
Bill Henry, Mrs Young's brother, said her disappearance
was out of character. He feared she had been murdered.
"She was very attached to our three daughters ... and
there's no way she'd go so long without making some form of
"[Since disappearing] she's never used her Medicare card
[despite having ongoing medical problems], and she left money in
the bank which if you know Judy was completely unnatural - she
had to spend it as soon as she got it.
"She was a happy-go-lucky person, used to sing country and
"But she didn't seem to have a purpose in life - she
didn't want kids - but she was very generous to people.''
Mr Henry said his last contact with Mrs Young was in late
1999, when he and his wife had asked Judith to visit him after
he had a quadruple bypass. She had been unable to come.
A former employee also said he worked for a business run
by Mrs Young, collecting discarded railway sleepers around
Parkes, which Mrs Young would then sell to others.
Police also described Mrs Young as a "country music
"She wasn't huge, she was tied up with some bands out here
and used to go to Tamworth and manage a few bands as a booking
agent," Inspector Howard said.
"A lot of people in the industry would have known her."
The Country Music Association of Australia said it had not
heard of a Judith Young, or a Judith Henry.
But Cheryl Chamberlain, from Parkes and District Country
Music Association, said Mrs Young had also been an accomplished
musician, in addition to managing bands.
"She did sing and play guitar. She sang quite well. She
started managing a few bands [booking them at venues] in the
Mrs Chamberlain said she did not know Mrs Young
personally, but said she often left town as part of her work as
a band manager.
"Judy used to go away and you wouldn't see here around
town for months," she said.
"[When she disappeared] people just thought she was just
gone and would turn up again."
She was a strange girl: friend
A friend, who wished only to be known as "Lindy",
described Mrs Young as "strange", but someone she got on well
with. Lindy had known Mrs Young for about eight years before she
"She was a strange girl, a lot of people had problems with
her but I got on quite well with her, I took her at face value,"
"It's hard to put in words, unless you knew
"She was just different, she had some weird friends. There
was one lady that was the fortune telling type, things like
"She did some funny things. She told me at one stage that
she'd tell [her husband] Phil she was going to Orange and little
did he know she'd go to Sydney and back - I don't know what that
"She had a finger in every pie, she always tried to make a
"She used to get into men's work. She used to buy sleepers
from the railways and saw them up for wood and sell them.
"She'd pick up the sleepers and go into town [to drop them
off in her truck] wearing high heel shoes and short skirts."
Lindy and her husband met Mrs Young through their common
love of country music, and had also attended her wedding to Phil
about a year or two before she went missing, Lindy said.
She did not know much about Phil, whom she described as a
"very quiet sort of fellow".
Lindy had also worked for Mrs Young's company, Billabong
Music, as a typist, she said.
"A lot of people say she did not pay them, or gave them a
valueless cheque, but she always paid us.
"We're always looking, you never stop looking," she said.
"We were at a country music festival in June, and saw someone
and thought 'That looks a bit like Jude', and of course you walk
closer and it looks nothing like her."
Anyone with information can phone Parkes Police on 6862 9977 or
Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
expected to be held
9:36:00 AM - Parkes Champion-Post
A massive search by police
and SES volunteers has failed to
find a body on a property west
More than 50 people were
involved in the search for
possible remains of Judith Young
who went missing in 1999.
She was not reported
missing until 2001.
A special police strike
force called Ullswater was set
up and concluded that Mrs Young
may have been murdered and her
body buried on the property,
located 30 kilometres from
Parkes in the Gunningbland
Police said she was last
seen on the property.
As the disappearance of
Mrs Young was not reported until
some two years after her
processes and checks had to be
carried out before any formal
inquiries could be conducted.
Lachlan Detective, Senior
Constable Scott Baker said last
weekend’s search of the
properties (two of them covering
2,500 acres) was initiated by
the Deputy State Coroner
McPherson who issued a Coronial
Investigation Scene order.
He said it had taken this
long for the search to be
carried out because of the
surrounding the disappearance.
Det Baker said while the
weekend search failed to find
any remains, certain documents
and some firearms were seized on
Friday and again on Sunday, from
a residence on the property.
He said police were now
preparing a a brief of evidence
for the Coroner which would
include details of the search,
statements gathered over the
years of investigation and other
The Coroner will examine
the brief in Glebe Coroners
Court on May 21, and it is
likely an inquest into the
disappearance of Judith Young
will then be conducted.