July 31, 2010
Laura's story comes from her Mum, Beth -
Laura was 23 when she disappeared, and would now be 26.
The photo is from some years ago, but is clear of her facial features, and she still looked like this when she disappeared.
She was last seen in Queanbeyan, although a long time resident of Canberra. She also had regular time in the Cowra area, as her Dad lived near there.
A friend of Laura's heard her making arrangements over the phone to meet someone socially on the night of her disappearance.
It sounded like a normal friendly conversation, nothing untoward. She waited till it was time to leave on Saturday night 4 Jan 2008.
She went out in her car, which was found two weeks later at some units in Ainslie, Canberra.
She knew people in those units, but police have been unable to determine if she saw anyone she knew from there. Police have no clue what has happened to her.
Her handbag and mobile phone are missing with her. She has not used any keycards, accessed any banking, has not used her mobile phone.
She leaves behind 2 young children whom she adored, and the rest of her family including a young brother and sister, then age 7 and 9.
Laura was in contact with me most days. If she was upset, angry, or not well, she would be in touch much more, sometimes 5-10 times a day.
Laura has bi-polar disorder. She is usually quite well, but does have serious episodes of paranoia and anti-social behaviour that are as heart
wrenching for her, when she is well again, as they are for her friends and family to witness.
We'd be grateful for any information from those who knew/know her, or anyone that may have seen her.
Laura your Mum has this message for you -
"I'd like her to know that I'm waiting for her call. And I'll wait forever."
Tuesday marked the second anniversary of Ms Haworth's disappearance. The mother of two vanished leaving few traces, and her family and police have renewed their plea for anyone with information to come forward.
Police say there has been no activity on bank accounts held in Ms Haworth's name, and her mobile phone has not been used.But they remain hopeful MsHaworth disappeared of her own volition, and have no evidence to suggest she met with foul play. They have repeatedly stressed the 25-year-old is not being sought for any offences and is not in any trouble.
Ms Cassilles received a call from a withheld number on Ms Haworth's birthday last year.
The caller hung up immediately. ''I hope that was her, but it could have been someone innocent, not knowing,'' Ms Cassilles said. ''It sounds like a cliche, but it really is a roller-coaster ride of hope, losing hope and getting hope again ... I'm always looking for her on the street, seeing people ... we used to double back in the car sometimes to see if it was her.''Ms Haworth was last seen by a friend in Queanbeyan, but the last time her mother saw her was over lunch on Christmas Day 2007.The rest of the family headed to the coast for a few days, but kept in contact.
''It was usual for us to be on the phone to each other a few times a day,'' Ms Cassilles said. Ms Haworth was in the process of moving from Mawson to her friend's house in Queanbeyan when she went missing.
Ms Cassilles spoke to her over the phone on the day of her disappearance, when the 25-year-old was heading to the Cotter River for a swim.
''Nothing seemed unusual ... she seemed happy during that [talk],'' she said.
*Anyone with information about Ms Haworth's whereabouts is urged to contact Crimestoppers on 1800333000.
Week a time for soul searching
July 31, 2010
SOMEWHERE stashed away in evidence storage are Megan Mulquiney's nightie, bed linen and hairbrush.They've been there for 26 years now; it's been that long since their owner had need of them.
Megan Mulquiney has not been seen since July 28, 1984.The then-17 year old finished her shift at the Big W in Woden Plaza shortly after noon, but never made it home.
She is one of the seven ACT people listed by the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre. Six women, one man.The disappearance of Kate Alexander stretches back more than three decades. For the family of Laura Haworth the pain is much fresher, much rawer.
Statistically, all seven are anomalies.In 95 per cent of the 35,000 missing persons cases reported each year one every 15 minutes the individual is found within a short period of time.But there are 1600 of these nightmarish rarities, the "long- term missing" cases.
This week is doubly significant for Megan's mother Dorothy.Today is the start of National Missing Persons Week, and last Wednesday Mrs Mulquiney marked 26 years to the day since her little girl vanished.
Megan's disappearance has been the subject of a cold case investigation. A coronial inquest ended in January 2009, returning an open finding. The last person of interest in the case, convicted rapist Paul Vincent Phillips, was hauled before the inquest last year.The inquest found Megan was probably murdered by persons unknown, and Phillips remained a person of interest. But that's as far as it went. And for Mrs Mulquiney, closure is nowhere in sight.
"There's a big hole there for me. In one way, I suppose I'd like not to think [Phillips] did what they say he did to Megan."Mrs Mulquiney wants to know what happened in her lifetime.
"Really, now that the coronial inquest has happened, Megan's case is hidden in a box somewhere.It's a sleeper."
The disappearance of mother- of-two Laura Haworth is the territory's most recent long- term missing person case.Beth Cassiles last saw her daughter Laura at a Christmas lunch in 2007. Ms Haworth was in good spirits. She was in the midst of moving house, and expressed relief when her mother offered to pay to keep larger items in storage temporarily.
"Looking back, I think she might have known she was going away and was relieved someone would be taking care of her things," Ms Cassiles said."She was quite attached to her things."
On the day she went missing Ms Haworth and a friend were headed to the Cotter Dam for a swim. It is believed they returned to her friend's home in Queanbeyan.During the day Ms Haworth received a call from someone, who she went out to meet later that evening. She has not been seen since.
Her car was found dumped at Kanangra Court in Reid two weeks later, with paperwork and clothes neatly arranged inside.Her two children are now six and nine years old. Every time they visit their grandmother in Curtin, they have new theories about where their mother might be. Sometimes she's on a skiing holiday. Sometimes she's dead.
"I'm really hopeful that she's alive, and [has] made a new life for herself somewhere," Ms Cassiles said.National Missing Persons Week has, in years past, been a time for Ms Haworth's family to get a measure of "recognition and acknowledgement" for their suffering.
But Ms Cassiles is upset about a decision not to hold the traditional service for the families at the All Saints Church in Ainslie. Police this year decided not to ask the church to host the event, and Ms Haworth's mother is hoping to negotiate some other way to mark the occasion in Canberra.Whether two years have elapsed, or 26, or more, the families of the missing maintain hope.
For Mrs Mulquiney, it's about closure, and the promise of that crucial piece of information that could help police close the case."Somebody out there must know something," she said.
And Ms Cassiles has a message for her daughter Laura."I'd like her to know that I'm waiting for her call. And I'll wait forever."
Do you know something?Visit the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre at www.missingpersons.gov.au/home.
All information will be treated as confidential.