Marion Anne SANDFORD
|Date of Birth:||1956|
|Age when missing:||24||Height (cm):||162.0||Build:||Thin|
|Hair Colour:||Eye Colour:||Blue||Complexion:||Fair|
|Circumstances - MARION SANDFORD was last seen in January 1980 at Cammeray, Sydney.|
| By EAMONN DUFF - SMH
MARION SANFORD scrawled a handwritten note to her brother in 1980 saying she had met some friends and would be back to their shared home within a week.
She never came home.
Thirty years on, Peter Sanford is resigned to the fact that something sinister happened to her.
Yesterday, acting NSW Police Minister David Campbell announced a $100,000 reward for information relating to her "presumed murder".
Ms Sandford was a 23-year-old New Zealand citizen living with her brother at Cammeray, on Sydney's north shore, when she vanished on January 24, 1980.
Three days later, he received these haunting words on a scrap of paper: "I am not at all sure when I will be home but it should be within 2 days to 1 week at the latest I suppose! Met a couple of friends. See you later, love Marion."
Speaking from his home in Wellington, New Zealand, Mr Sanford said: "I knew in my heart something bad had happened. When two or three Christmases passed without her popping her head around the door, there was that deep knowledge she was never coming home."
Harbourside Local Area Command Detective Sergeant Robert George said that at the time of her disappearance Ms Sandford was known to police with a record for possession and use of heroin.
"We have since uncovered information to suggest she may have been looking to get involved in the importation side of things, as a drug courier."
"Being involved in the drug trade is obviously a high-risk activity and I'm surmising that anything that has happened to her has happened as a result of being involved in those circles," Sergeant George said.
"She came from a good honest family and they deserve closure."
22 Jan 10 @ 07:39am by Janne Seletto - Mosman Daily
Acting Police Minister David Campbell said Ms Sandford, a New Zealander, disappeared in January, 1980, and was presumed murdered.
“Marion Sandford was last seen by her brother Peter Sandford around January 24, 1980, at their home in Cammeray,” Mr Campbell said.
“Just three days later, Peter received a letter claiming to be from Marion, letting him know she was all right and that she’d be away until later that week.
That was the last contact anyone has had with Marion, that we know of.”
Detective Sergeant Robert George, of Harbourside Local Area Command, said that, at the time of her disappearance, Ms Sandford was known to police.
“In 2002, Marion’s disappearance was investigated in connection with the disappearance of two other women - Linda Davie, who was last seen in St Leonards in April, 1980, and Mary Wallace, last seen in Crows Nest in September, 1983,” he said.
“One other line of inquiry has been the potential involvement in the supply of drugs in the area.
“We are reviewing any links Marion may have had with a heroin importation syndicate.”
Detective Sergeant George said NSW Police had worked with the NZ Consulate and NZ Police.
“While we’ve had a number of leads, every one so far has unfortunately gone cold,” he said.
Mr Campbell said police wanted to hear from anyone who knew Ms Sandford, whether they were friends, relatives or associates.
“The Sandford family deserves closure and the community expects justice,” Mr Campbell said.
“I urge anyone with any information - no matter how small or insignificant you may think (it) is - to come forward to their local police station or call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.”
Rewards of $100,000 are being offered for information leading to a conviction in two historic suspected murder cases.
Tanya Farrington and Linda Suzanne Davie both disappeared in suspicious circumstances more than 30 years ago and are presumed by police to have been murdered.
NSW Detective Sergeant Robert George responded to media reports that police were investigating possible links between the girls and notorious criminals including underworld identity John Anderson, serial killer Ivan Milat and New Zealander "Mr Asia" drug syndicate head Terry Clark.
"Any suggestion of those links is just speculation," he told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.
Tanya was 14 when she went missing from her Crows Nest home on Sydney's north shore on March 22, 1979, he said.
She was last seen by her brother watching TV late at night in the family home but was gone when her mother woke up in the morning.
Ms Davie, then 22, has not been seen since she returned to her north shore Wollstonecraft home after visiting her boyfriend in Royal North Shore Hospital on April 6, 1980.
The New Zealander's boyfriend received a letter saying that she would be away until the following week - she was never seen again.
Neither of the women had any reason to deliberately disappear, Det Sgt George said.
"They have not contacted their families in over 30 years," he said.
"We presume that what has happened to them is a result of murder or foul play."
NSW Police Minister Michael Daley said Tanya often snuck out at night and may have hitchhiked to Manly to spend time with friends.
"I'd urge anyone who saw Tanya that night, or might have information about her disappearance to come forward," he told reporters.
Police would also like to speak to Tanya's boyfriend at the time and two men who are believed to have driven Ms Davie and a friend home from Kings Cross on April 5, 1980.
Police are asking anyone with information to call crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.